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Pieter Schoolwerth - Artists - Petzel Gallery

Pieter Schoolwerth (b. 1970, St. Louis, MO)

American artist Pieter Schoolwerth works in a multitude of mediums including painting sculpture, installation, and video. His paintings capture the invisible flows of abstraction that structure contemporary experience, turning them into motifs for an elaborate new kind of figurative painting. In his work, the stuff of paint itself reappears as a supplement only at the end of a complex, multi-media effort to produce a figurative picture depicting the ‘once removed’ space of the virtual.

Since graduating from the California Institute of the Arts in 1994, Schoolwerth has exhibited nationally and internationally with notable solo shows at Thread Waxing Space, New York; Greene Naftali, New York; Grand Palais, Paris; Miguel Abreu Gallery, New York; What Pipeline, Detroit; Capitain Petzel, Berlin; Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler, Berlin and Petzel, New York. His work has been included in group exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield; The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Sadie Coles, London among others. His monograph Model as Painting was published by Sequence Press/MIT in 2019, and he presented his mid-career survey show “No Body Get a Head 1991-2020” at the Kunstverein Hannover in 2021, curated by Kathleen Rahn. From 2003–2013 Schoolwerth ran Wierd Records and the Wierd Party in the Lower East Side of NYC, releasing music by 46 bands and producing over 500 live music, DJ, and performance art events. 

Schoolwerth’s work is in the permanent collections of the Pinault Collection, Venice and Paris; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Kistefos Museum and Sculpture Park, Jevnaker; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Aïshti Foundation, Beirut; Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig; Denver Art Museum, Denver; and the Stavanger Art Museum, Stavanger, among others. 

His second solo exhibition with Petzel Gallery will open in Fall 2024 with an accompanying monograph. He lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

“I’ve always been interested in the ways in which the ever-changing, and often invisible, forces of abstraction in the world affect the task of representing the human body. I’ve come to use the photographed shadow to represent the performance of your digital body when we’re not together.”

Pieter Schoolwerth

Career Highlights

Pieter Schoolwerth - Artists - Petzel Gallery

Wierd Records

1970 Born in St Louis, Missouri

1994 Graduates Cal Arts and moves to New York City
First NYC show at Thread Waxing Space, Soho

1996 “Altered States of America” show, New York
"Subway" project begins

2003 Founds Wierd Records and the Wierd Party LES, New York
Released music by 46 bands and hosted over 500 live events

2008 Co-authors “Wierd Manifesto: The Analogue Synthesizer as a Folk Instrument of Humanist Resistance”
“Portraits of Paintings” project begins, a major turning point where Western art history is used as raw material

2014  “Your Vacuum Sucks” film
“My Vacuum Sucks” show at SKE, New Delhi

2015  “Model as Painting” project begins

Pieter Schoolwerth - Artists - Petzel Gallery

Installation view, “No Body Get a Head” show at Kunstverein Hannover featuring work from 1991–2020

2016 "Fine Young Cannibals" group show at Petzel, New York

2017 “Model as Painting” show at Capitain Petzel, Berlin

2018 “New York by Night” group show at HdM Gallery, Beijing

2019 “Model As Painting” book published “Virtual Relief” show at KTZ, Berlin

2020 “Shifted Sims” solo show at Petzel, New York

2021 “No Body Get a Head” show at Kunstverein Hannover featuring work from 1991–2020
“Lucy & Aaron” at Hanson Records Oberlin, Ohio

2022 “Rigged” at Petzel, New York and KTZ, Berlin

2023 Galeria Sequeria, Seoul 

2024 Petzel Gallery, New York (Forthcoming)


Pieter Schoolwer, Rigged Part 3, 2023.

Pieter Schoolwerth on "Shifted Sims", Petzel, 2020

Arts Magazine Reviews Pieter Schoolwerth

Artforum: Pieter Schoolwerth talks about his life and work (2017)

School of Visual Arts: Pieter Schoolwerth: Depicting the World "Once Removed" (2018)