Pieter Schoolwerth is an American artist that runs Wierd Records. Born in 1970 in Saint Louis, MO, he studied and he received his BFA from California Institute for the Arts. He lives and works in NYC, NY.
Schoolwerth’s artwork has been predominantly shown in at the Miguel Abreu Gallery, NYC. Internationally, he has had solo exhibitions in India, Belgium, and Germany, among other locations. I first came across his work in the exhibition Model as Painting, at the Capitain Petzel gallery in Berlin, Germany.
Pieter Schoolwerth is known for reworking old-master paintings to create nearly abstract compositions. Tracings from images he finds online are combined with pixelated inkjet prints and spare but ostentatious brushstrokes.- P.C. Smith
Model as Painting was a solo exhibition by Schoolwerth, displaying his paintings, plaster models, collages, and a video installation, titled The Casting Agency produced in collaboration with Alexandra Lerman. According to Schoolwerth, he proposes ‘model’ to depict the compression of space and time that is an essential aspect of digital communication. The images he creates challenge the viewer to both perceive the individual elements of his pieces, while viewing the entire composition as a whole.
His work shown in Model as Painting include comical and timely themes such as Nike sneakers, remote controllers, potted plants, rubik cubes, puzzles, opposing soccer teams in Berlin, cheap furniture sets, and junk mail.
In a previous 2012 exhibition of Schoolwerth’s, Portraits of Paintings, he used a similar technique to de-and-reconstruct images. Again, layers are everything. Schoolwerth, chose to focus on recreating early modern works with a contemporary edge. He describes the feeling of isolation a painter feels by painting alone, as a key influence on his work for this time.
“The starting point for the Portraits of Paintings, is to go back to a pre-Modern, pre-Abstraction period, long before photography or the digital occurred, before the web occurred, to a time when we could say, with a good degree of certainty, that the body was stable and something closer to whole. Humans had a much more one-to-one relationship with each other and the social was perhaps more clearly articulated.” Schoolwerth in an interview with Andrew Cappetta from BOMB
For those interested in hearing more from the horse’s mouth, check out Art Forum’s interview with Schoolwerth. Prepare to be amazed at the complex process that goes into creating one of his amazing paintings.