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Pieter Schoolwerth at American Fine Arts Co.
Pieter Schoolwerth's imaginatively wacked-out exhibition, "The Black Rainbow Domino's Effect on the Infinite Burgundy Line," featured 15 large and medium sized oil-on-canvas paintings. The slick, quasi-surrealist images offer glimpses inside this artist's seemingly twisted brain. The protagonists in each work are wildly animated characters, and the paintings seem to highlight unexpected connections among people, animals, places and things. In Manic Panic, a central figure sits with intertwined feet like a Shiva or a double-jointed acrobat nervously trying to light a cigarette. His actions seem to correspond to a pizza slice and a paintbrush hovering in mid-air.
The Green Room shows an odd-looking cat below a TV set, clawing a wire connected to a tape player held by a shirtless character entertaining two rather sinister-looking friends. A slightly more sedate canvas, The Green Arm, is a beautifully painted portrait of a man with a green arm. At some point these images, which seem to correspond to works by artists as diverse as Hugh Steers, Robert Williams and Paul Cadmus, appear totally convincing. Each of Schoolwerth's hallucinogenic paintings is like a dream -- or a nightmare -- that became a reality for someone, somewhere.
Pieter Schoolwerth, "The Black Rainbow Domino's Effect on the Infinite Burgundy Line," April 20-May 13, at American Fine Arts, Co., 22 Wooster Street, New York, N.Y. 10013.
DAVID EBONY is associate managing editor at Art in America magazine.