• PETER SCHUYFF
    AND THE WOODWARDS
  • 28 NOVEMBER 2009 — 09 JANUARY 2010 
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Opening reception: Saturday 28 November 2009,
17 — 19.30 hrs

Round and round and round it goes. There are some new paintings by Peter Schuyff in which the canvas is filled with a line - a thick wobbly painted line - one that swirls and twists in a big knotted web. One can't help but look at it and think, "I know the feeling." For over thirty years, Schuyff has been exploring, in the broadest sense, abstraction. Symbols, forms, icons of abstraction are taken by Schuyff and transformed and misassociated into paintings and drawings that are strange, funny, compelling. His works offers an endlessly inventive exploration of abstraction's possibilities and its relationship to the pictorial. This will be Peter Schuyff's first solo exhibition in Holland for over fifteen years.

 

His language is an expanding, distorting one of grids, targets, blobs, squares, chain-links. These pieces, either amorphous or hard-edged, are used in isolation and combination with each other. And recently letters, often writing his name, have been finding their way into the mix. A current part of Schuyff's practice comes from working over found drawings and paintings. One cannot deny how brutal it is to add something to another's work. Sure, artists are always quoting, pastiching, satirising each other, but to amend - and some would argue therefore to obliterate - another's original artwork...that's something altogether more problematic. What Schuyff offers, however, is a kind of reinvention. He perceives his role as one of reviving the mediocre - working on paintings and drawings collected from antique shops and markets, that often exhibit technical skill and are evocative of their era, but are ultimately undistinguished and likely to be consigned to obscurity. In his hands they take on another life, with a new dialogue opening up between his shapes and the drawings on which they rest.