Probe by Ward Schumaker is made up of a series of small, minimalist sculptures, his “ugly boxes,” and large scale paintings inspired by the space race and the first French atomic submarine. A recent stint in NYC gave Schumaker permission to pick up a thread he started in the 1960’s,
“Growing up in Nebraska, I'd always planned on moving to New York to paint, but when I graduated college in 1966, a foolish and addled road trip sidetracked me to San Francisco, where I've now lived for half a century. These subjects that had been of longtime interest subjects had less to do with engineering than something deep inside: a probing for mystery, meaning, power, and identity. The works looked very different from the non-objective, painterly work I'd been doing in San Francisco; they included photo transfers and printouts from magazines of the time. (I had kept them all those years!) I spent one or two years working on them, both in Manhattan and later back in our home in San Francisco.
Because they were so different from what I'd been exhibiting, I showed them to very few people; they were my little secret. But when Zeitgeist offered me a show this year, I immediately thought of them. Zeitgeist had, after all, given me my very first shows, despite the fact I had no record and was known as an illustrator, not a painter. This would be something similar: showing works that fell outside my comfort zone.“
Ward Schumaker is an award winning designer and illustrator whose fine art work is regularly shown in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Shanghai. Schumaker’s design and illustration work has been featured in The Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The New York Times and for The Yolla Bolly Press, Hermès, Paris, and Deutsche Grammophon.