Paul Sharits was known for his video work throughout the 1960s. Many consider him to be a pioneer of the structural film movement. Though he died in 1993 at the age of 50, his work is being revisited with a video installation at Greene Naftali Gallery.
Sharits was born in Denver, Colorado. After getting an MFA in visual design, he embarked on a varied artistic career that took him to the realms of film. “Shutter Interface” (1975) is perhaps one of his best known works from this time period, along with T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G (1968). Both of these videos featured flashing colors, looped imagery and a dissonant soundtrack to the images on screen. Sharits was hoping to produce a different relationship between film and the viewer by removing the usual smoothness that was expected, and instead making the shutter changes evident in his work.
Beyond actual video installations, Sharits also displayed the actual film sheets, usually presented in between two panes of glass. The result was a collection of rainbow colored works that looked like patterned cloth. This is something that seemed to attract the artist, as even his own drawings, created out of marker and felt pens, were brightly colored artwork of meticulously even, measured out lines or jagged scrawls.
Sharits was an integral part of the advancement of film, so it’s only fitting that one of his video installations will be on view in a new exhibit. Greene Naftali Gallery in New York is presenting Sharits’ work from September 3-October 3, 2015. Don’t miss the chance to see the long-lasting work of such a luminary.