The paintings of Pieter Schoolwerth sit at a peculiar intersection of homage and irreverence, combining classic painting techniques with a uniquely surreal vision of contemporary society, exploring the act of representation in painting, and continually playing with the nature of the human body as depicted in the fine arts.
Continuing his recent practice of deconstruction and abstraction of classic works, Schoolwerth is currently presenting 5 new works at Michael Abreu Gallery in New York City. Taken from classic renderings of the fall of Troy by Simon Vouet and Lionello Spada, his works reduce the human form to raw essentials, and recombine those elements into new configurations.
Employing broad swathes of color, human body parts and contour lines traced from the original works, Schoolwerth’s canvases become dynamic condensations of his original subjects, overlaying multiple figures to create striking intersections of color and movement. The works borrow highly from contemporary digital assemblage, bearing pixelated edges around the prints on canvas.
Inherently cacophonous in their construction, the paintings of “After Troy” evoke the frantic, scattered nature of the Trojan royalty as its kingdom fell, the very fabric of its existence was torn. Showcasing Aeneas and his family in their darkest moments, Schoolwerth’s paintings here contribute a new perspective on classic work, while exploring the reinterpretation of these works and mythologies in the 21st century.
After Troy closes on December 22nd, 2012.