CLARA SCHUFF

b. 1893, Munich, Germany
d. 1987, Los Angeles, USA


WORKS    |    BIOGRAPHY   |   EXHIBITIONS   |   PUBLICATIONS

SELECTED WORKS

BIOGRAPHY

 

CSportAt the age of 17, Clara Schuff realized she had telepathic and clairvoyant abilities and became a professional psychic over the years. During the World War II she left Germany and lived in Switzerland, Great Britain and Austria. Only at the age of 58 Clara Schuff began to create mediumistic drawings. Shortly before that, she experienced a very difficult time. She was the mother of five children. Her husband not only cheated on her, he also physically abused her. The process of her divorce drove her into emotional distress. At that time Clara Schuff was described as an open, honest and faithful, but very nervous personality.

In 1951 she discovered a strange ability. Apparently, she began singing bizarre melodies in unknown languages and strange rhythms for no reason. While singing these seemingly archaic melodies, Clara Schuff soon began to create automatic drawings with blue and red pens at high speed.

Clara Schuff never went into a trance. Normally she accompanied the drawings with the singing of the strange songs to the rhythms in which she moved the pen across the sheet at great speed. With graceful, lively or solemnly calm body movements and gestures, Clara Schuff performed an inexhaustible abundance of archaic melodies in unknown but always melodious languages. Sometimes her hands imitated playing on invisible musical instruments. She was of the opinion that her glossolalic songs were hymns, songs of praise or lamentation to the deities in the languages of ancient oriental peoples and very early highly developed cultures, which have since perished and are no longer known to us.

Clara Schuff thought many of the mysterious songs and drawings to be a form of remembrance of her own past lives. She regarded other drawings as anticipations and visions of extraterrestrial or future events. From the first sheets of paper in the early 1950s until shortly before her death, these drawings did not change much stylistically. She divided the contours of a figure, sometimes representing the head of her spirit guide, a Native American, or anthropomorphic and zoomorphic shapes, into sectors with few strokes and filled them with small symbolic images, ciphers and imaginative figures.

Clara Schuff lived in various countries until she settled in Los Angeles, USA, where she made a name for herself as a clairvoyant. Artists and Hollywood actors consulted her. She gave psychic readings to film producer Arthur Cohn and actress Liv Ullman and predicted the future to Jimi Hendrix. There is an invaluable document that shows Clara Schuff both embedded in the environment of the counterculture and New Age movement and preserving footage of one of her automatic chants for posterity. In the film "Rainbow Bridge" (by Chuck Wein, 1972) starring Jimi Hendrix, which is mainly about a hippie community in Maui, Hawaii, Clara Schuff performed one of her spontaneous glossolalic songs at a campfire party with her characteristic graceful gestural dance.

In November 1978, she was attacked at her home in Los Angeles and fell down the stairs. She was found badly injured and her left leg had to be amputated. Despite all her setbacks and hardships, Clara Schuff remained a cheerful, positive person until her death in 1987.

EXHIBITIONS

 

2019 Flying High: Women Artists of Art Brut. Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria, 2/15/2019 – 6/23/2019
2019 Alma: Mediums and Visionaries. Es Baluard Museum, Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 2/15/2019 – 6/2/2019
1981 Mediumship and Creativity, Zürich

PUBLICATIONS


Giovetti, Paola: Arte medianica. Pitture e disegni dei sensitivi. Roma: Edizioni Mediterranee, 1982, pp. 54-57.

 

 

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