Peter Schuyff

March 3rd to April 2nd, 2005


James Harris Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of new work by Peter Schuyff. Born in Baarn, Holland in 1958, Schuyff grew up in Canada, where he studied at the Vancouver School of Art. From there he became a seminal figure in the East Village art scene in the 1980’s. During the last twenty years the artist made several trips through the various jungles of the world, including the Amazon, Sumatra and New Guinea. These experiences had a profound effect on his artistic practice.

For this exhibition, Schuyff continues to explore pattern and repeating forms with a series of watercolors, oil paintings and sculpture. In the two dimensional works, he uses an obsessive technique of building up layers of paint through which light emanates and mysteriously penetrates from the surface. This arduous layering enables him to create patterned fields of geometric shapes, ribbony lines and vortices. For the sculpture, twisting corkscrew-like forms have been hewn out of logs or pencils. Often color is added to the edges of large-scale pieces to create a cascading ribbon. On a smaller scale, carved pencils repeat patterns of the larger pieces but by placing the pencils in rows, the artist creates striations of saturated color. In both works, sculptural tension is created through the intensity of the twist or wind of the cylindrical form.

The work of Peter Schuyff has been internationally acclaimed for some two decades, exhibited and associated with an extraordinary group of art makers coming to attention in the eighties, whose contributions have been gathered under the banner Neo-Geo. This designation refers to the renewed energy and commitment by this group, to the values of geometric abstraction, gleaned from admiration for the legacy of Dutch artist, Piet Mondrian and the vibrant, ebullient, triumphant abstract art of the sixties (all seen within a current framework). His New York exhibitions include solo shows at the Pat Hearn, Paul Kasmin, Tony Shafrazi, Leo Castelli, Sperone Westwater and Bill Maynes Galleries. Some early paintings were recently featured in the East Village U.S.A show at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York.

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