Andrew SchoultzThis World in Peril, We Still Have Nature
Kantor Gallery is pleased to present a new solo exhibition by Los Angeles based artist Andrew Schoultz. The show will be on view at the gallery from April 30 – May 27, 2022.
As the title urges in Andrew Schoultz’s debut solo show at Kantor Gallery, we’ll have Mother Nature to answer to in the end. Because no matter 2022’s destruction du jour—where each new day brings with it a once-in-a-generation, choose-your-own-disaster, Plagues-of- Egypt-level version of history—the human response to the climate crisis will either be our saving grace or demise. Which do you choose?
Hope (somehow, still) exists. Or not. It all depends on how you interpret Schoultz’s exhibition of 10 new works, where context is the key to unlocking the artist’s meticulous kaleidoscope paintings. In these non-narratives, the artist’s owls and birds and big cats (oh my!) get caught in action, or maybe limbo, equipoise to a moving background of tense Escherist grids or blazing Mordor skies. And yet, there is a whimsy to the chaos of his acrylic menagerie, culled from ancient mythology and biblical imagery to graffiti and tattoo designs.
This World in Peril, We Still Have Nature plays with circumstance. How the relationship between signifier and signified can change over time and in different contexts fascinates Schoultz. Consider the serpent, an animal that shape shifts throughout eras and mediums. Historically, snakes served as symbols of rebirth and fertility. In the Bible, a serpent represents evil and man’s original sin, a synonym for liars and tricksters; in modern medicine, it signals emergency services and healing. In today’s American ideology, a coiled snake on a yellow flag with the words “Don’t Tread On Me” means liberty and vigilance to some, intolerance and hate to others. It’s fitting, then, that the exhibit, characterized by Op Art techniques and surrealist landscapes, reflects and refracts all senses of the word “perspective,” distorting reality to show you what’s really going on.
Schoultz’s signature vivid style of repeated lines and geometric leitmotifs, developed over the last 20 years as a muralist and fine art painter and skateboarder, are known for their references to war, globalization, and mortality (among whatever else the viewer brings to the canvas), inspired by 15th-century German map making and Persians miniature to straight up contemporary references like Mission School street art. But over the last few years, there’s been a marked shift in tone, where his unfinished oeuvre can now be distilled into two camps: before children and after. If animals serve as reminders of the lifecycle, where humans have emerge the dominant species, then children might mean the opposite, of what comes after us. As a father and a painter, Schoultz is still working out this directive to leave the world a better place.
Beneath the bedlam in This World in Peril, We Still Have Nature, there is a future if you choose to see one. And maybe all that anxiety— the horror, the agony, the news—can serve a purpose after all.
Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Schoultz (1975) became a professional skateboarder before moving to San Francisco in 1998, where the vocabulary of his outdoor murals – wooden war horses, limb-less trees, erupting volcanoes, tornadoes, clouds of flying arrows – has become an important part of the urban fabric in the Mission District and beyond. This vocabulary extends to paintings, drawings, sculptures, and installations that have been featured in exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, including Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco, CA and Galerie Droste, Düsseldorf, Germany.
“This World in Peril, We Still Have Nature” is on view from April 30 – May 27, 2022. For any inquiries or book an appointment to view the exhibition, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org