Fights: William Schaeuble

June 7 - July 27, 2024

William Schaeuble is an American painter, amateur outdoorsman and aspiring bird watcher. Schaeuble's work focuses on telling stories of his personal life in connection to the broader world of contemporary culture, art history and the great outdoors. His works are semi-autobiographical, filled with figures, animals, nicknacks, lovers, enemies, locations and themes that all come from the artists personal life. He depicts certain memories and moments from his life that stand out enough to spend extra time with. The Artist alters those memories through a lens of humor and intimate reference of what is occupying the mind at the time, turning the work into a body of documentary paintings that when Schaeuble is an old man will be able to use to revisit old friends through paint. Schaeuble grew up in Iowa and graduated from The School Of The Art Institute of Chicago. He now splits his time between Chicago and his family’s home in Iowa.

CHICAGO (June 5, 2024) – Povos is thrilled to present Fights, William Schaeuble’s anticipated second solo presentation with the gallery, a body of work exploring conflict in all of its absurdity. Documenting and questioning fights of different sorts and magnitudes, Schaeuble once again draws from his autobiographical reservoir to explore larger humanistic points of contention and conflict. Fights opens June 7 and will be on view at Povos’s West Town location through July 27.


Anecdotes of personal quarrels, familial spats, and imagined hilarity inform these pastoral, regionalist oil paintings, which arrive on the heels of Schaeuble’s sold out showing with Povos at the gallery’s April 2024 EXPO debut. With Fights, Schaeuble looks at the world, the viewer, and himself to ask, “why?” with a sense of humor and distinctly midwestern optimism. 


“William and I started working together five years ago in my first curatorial project in Chicago,” says Povos founder Lucca Colombelli. “We went from a house show, to a restaurant, to pop-ups, to what became the first majorly successful show at Povos’s first location. Now we’ve sold out an art fair booth together. Through the wild ride, we have also become good friends and critics of each other’s work. Years later and in a shiny new Chicago Avenue gallery, this feels like a true landmark show, for William and for me. It feels like we are both demonstrating and celebrating our growth in our now separate disciplines.”


As one of the first artists to show with Povos upon the gallery’s founding in 2020, Schaeuble’s evolution as an artist has occurred in tandem with the Povos program at large. As is the case with many artists in Povos’s fold, Schaeuble identifies as a midwest artist, and his work furthers the Chicago school lineage of magically succinct, surrealist image makers, while remaining indelibly contemporary. 


Schaeuble’s latest contributions to the contemporary pastoral canon are rooted in his own memories, and while the artist has always injected the bucolic with his own brand of folly, Fights embraces the banality of conflict. Lanky figures lope, but punches are held mid throw, suspended in the silted palette for which Schaeuble is known. The documented conflict is chaotic: who is fighting who? Is the hunter a predator, or a protector? The viewer is asked to reckon with the naked neediness of conflict, and to engage with the murky voyeurism that fights invite. Pull up a chair, if not a punch, the lights are on in the ring, and the show has begun. 

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