Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce “PerForm,” an exhibition of paintings by Nicholas Schutsky, on view in our Terrazzo Gallery.
The exhibition consists of several resumé paintings, large and small-scale renderings of the artist’s resumé, painted in varying colors and fonts. Each canvas is obsessively painted, a work-intensive self-portrait in text that doubles as a formalist study of color and contrast. As a young artist whose work has not yet been exhibited extensively, Schutsky does not have an overwhelming resumé— rather it is almost strange to see its contents reproduced on a grand scale in oil paint. Employing a palette reminiscent of the modernist and minimalist traditions, these canvases offer a gentle and humorous critique of modernist painting and the politics of the art world wherein an artist’s biography/bibliography is often valued above the artwork itself.
In the center of the room lie eight wooden 2 x 4 beams gilded in 24-karat gold leaf. Randomly splayed on the floor like those you would find at a lumber yard, these objects, typically used in construction and other labor activities, have been elevated to high art due solely to the expensive material which the artist has used to coat their surfaces. Another contradiction of form and content, these sculptures combine the delicate art historical practice of using gold leaf in religious painting with the crude “2 x 4”, a symbol of masculinity and menial labor.
Born in 1977 in Union County, New Jersey, Schutsky received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Richard Stockton College and went on to receive a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Delaware. This is his first exhibition at Sperone Westwater and his first major gallery show in New York. Schutsky currently lives and works in New Jersey.