The third solo exhibition by Paul Pretzer, a traditionally trained European painter with a knack for interpreting comedic and tragic scenarios, is currently exhibiting at the Marc Straus Gallery. The show introduces new works created by the Berlin-based artist during his temporary residency in New York City.
Pretzer’s style of work can be easily recognized thanks to his ability in the depiction of tragicomedy often illustrating distressed characters, in a painterly style, with exquisite color palettes. It is clear to recognize Pretzer has the expertise of a master, but one that is not high-strung about his craft.
His anguished and comical subjects are often portrayed in dramatic and intense situations, but what exactly are the bizarre stories taking place within the paintings? This is a story Pretzer wants you to create on your own. For this series, Pretzer striped down the compositions, sans the detailed backgrounds from his earlier works. Abstract vivid backgrounds serve as the stage for the main objects, the characters with human like expressions, depicted in garbs that might have allegorical meanings, but it’s up to the viewer to decide.
In my opinion, I feel the characters are a hilarious satirical homage to our inner personality traits. Two of my favorites were “Herohorse”, and “Ask Me Why You Deserve Hell”. In the “Herohorse” painting, the “underdog” is pictured as a fully determined frantic horse charging up ahead wearing a super hero cape. After going through a case of unfortunate events, the “dark horse” continues in his pursuit of achieving his mission and not letting anyone get in the way thanks to his new-found bravado.
“Three components are important in my work: color, form and the story. I do not try to illustrate a story; rather the story is almost a side-product of the composition of the painting.” Pretzer
Paul Pretzer’s works will be showing till February 14th at the Marc Straus Gallery, 299 Grand Street, New York
Photos By:Erica Genece
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