David Scher at Pierogi

Suspended Interruption
17 October – 16 November, 2014
Opening Reception:
Fri, 17 October. 7-9pm

Artist talk and viewing of sketchbooks
Wednesday, 5 November. 6:30 – 8:30pm
An evening with the artist at Pierogi



Pierogi is delighted to present an exhibition of David Scher’s recent paintings, works on paper, and for the first time on public view, an extensive selection of his sketchbooks. This will be Scher’s first New York exhibition after four years spent in Marseille and his sixth solo presentation at Pierogi. The exhibition will include drawings and paintings “that seem to withdraw from words like slugs from salt. Subjects range like cows over downed fences. The works are both recordings and scores.” (Scher, 2014)

Scher’s works resist simple categorization. His approach consists of establishing fields where multiple things occur in proximity. These are familiar fields including walls, bookcases, tabletops, stages, shores, and pages. His work is composed within these constructs using diverse mediums and instruments as the subject demands. His recent series of “Case” drawings can be read alternately as shelves containing the contents of a mind – including, for example, figures that appear between lines that combine to form book spines – or as topographical cityscapes. Their surfaces are studded with collaged, cannibalized sections torn from other drawings, line work that compels the eye to follow, and both figurative and abstract elements.

Scher’s technique and imagery fuse historical and contemporary references. Odd figures with canes and top hats that seem to come from another era inhabit the same tableau as his three-legged star men. “Filtered through his images are allusions to earlier art and techniques: Watteau’s figure studies in chalk, van Gogh’s cake-frosting-thick strokes, R. Crumb’s funky portraiture or Picasso’s bravura use of a single line to convey all the strength of a bull or emotion of a face.” (Edward M. Gómez, Art In America)

Installed in Gallery 2 will be a selection of several hundred of Scher’s sketchbooks dating from 1955 to 2014, shown publicly for the first time. The full collection, which now numbers close to twelve hundred, is constantly growing and offers a unique retrospective of an art practice spanning half a century. “These books have always provided a way for me to work in freedom from categories, financial and spatial constraints, and contain writing, plans for sculptures, paintings, jokes, cartoons and ideas… (Scher)

There will be a one night, live performance at The Boiler on Wednesday, October 29th (8pm), by ONEM, a performance group founded in 1969 in St. Paul, Minnesota by Timothy Kane, Paul Scher, and David Scher.

David Scher’s work has been exhibited widely in the US and internationally and is included in the permanent collections of MoMA (NYC), the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), and others. His work was included in “Codex” at the Wattis Institute, San Francisco, and he is the recent recipient of a Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. He currently lives and works in New York City after having spent the past four years in Marseille, France.

Newly published, David Scher’s artist book, Practice World, with text by Jean-Luc Fernandes, will be available for sale.

“The graffiti buzzes, light and obstinate, it does not avoid Rimbaud’s ‘cruel smells.’ The line persists – inexorable trace – returning to its subjects, releasing its characters into other situations, it produces crossings, crazy couplings that give birth to bastard objects, chimerical objects, unchained from the useful…. Coherence is not immediate, DS explores territories, so we look for influencers, references, the problematic that would allow us to situate, to locate, at the risk of reducing the new to the already known.”   (Fernandes, 2014)