Model as Painting

Model as Painting

Pieter Schoolwerth

May 2019
Sequence Press
Texts by Molly Warnock, David Geers,
Pieter Schoolwerth
Designed by Tiffany Malakooti
Softcover w/ flaps, 300 x 230mm
232 pages, 204 color images
ISBN 978-1-7336281-2-9

One of the clear characteristics of our digital age is that in it all things, bodies even, are generally suspended from their more or less stable material substance. This increasingly spectral state of affairs is the effect of mostly invisible forces of abstraction that can be associated with the digitization of more and more aspects of human experience. We as living beings are now confronting a structural split between the substance of things and their generic, virtual double. Concretely speaking, one can point to everyday phenomena as manifestations of this unsettling development: coffee without caffeine, or food without fat, for instance, are expressive of this mode of abstraction/extraction, but also money without currency, love without bodies, and soon following, painting without paint, and finally, art without art… Pieter Schoolwerth's attempts to reverse the above described techno-cultural trend with his series of in the last instance paintings, in which the stuff of paint itself reappears as supplement only at the end of a complex, multi-media effort to produce a figurative picture.

Model as Painting is the first in depth publication on Schoolwerth’s practice. This monograph was imagined in conjunction with a group of exhibitions that articulate his eponymous project held at Capitain Petzel, Berlin, Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York, and Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin. Conceived by Schoolwerth as a comprehensive overview of his work leading up to the “Model as Painting” series, and an analysis of the particular processes developed in this body of work, the volume was designed in collaboration with Tiffany Malakooti and comprises 232 pages of richly illustrated ideas, critical essays and documentation.

An introductory text by the artist lays out the foundations of his painting processes. The main essays by art historian Molly Warnock and critic David Geers respectively situate Schoolwerth’s art produced during the last five years, and set out to define his “practice [as] singular in its focus on language, labor, and the body’s dispersal in today’s technological landscape.” (Geers) The multi-media, figurative, and decidedly representational paintings in this series are elaborated through a unique and intensive sequence of creative phases, including digital photography, the making of collages and 3D models based on the collages, internet browsing, software image processing, printing, and finally, painting.

Pieter Schoolwerth lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. His work addresses the ways in which the ever-changing, and often invisible, forces of abstraction in the world affect the task of representing the human body in painting. His concerns lie in depicting the figure grounded in the ubiquitous glowing screens of digital technology, and in how this mediated reality influences our sense of time, space, and our capacities for attention and the production of memory. Schoolwerth has exhibited his work internationally for over twenty years and has had one-person exhibitions in galleries notably in New York, Paris, Brussels, Milan, and New Delhi. He was also included in group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Centre Pompidou, Paris, The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, CT, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, among other places. From 2003–2013 Schoolwerth ran Wierd Records and the Wierd Party on the LES of NYC, releasing music by 46 bands and producing over 500 live music, DJ, and performance art events internationally.