Andrew Schoultz and Peter Rogiers at Roberts & Tilton
Los Angeles Times
If last weekend's pageant of 80-plus openings -- the kickoff to the fall season -- had been a contest, the prize for most thrill per square foot would almost surely have gone to Andrew Schoultz's Power Structures and Chaos at Roberts & Tilton, a giddy maelstrom of an exhibition packed in the closet-sized vault of the gallery's project space.
Horses charge, flags wave, clouds of arrows darken the sky -- it's hard to say just who's fighting whom, but the momentum is exhilarating. The show's five paintings -- on canvas and panel, ranging from 18 inches to 6 feet tall -- suggest medieval battle scenes awash in swirling currents of pictorial shrapnel: arrows, leaves, ribbons, raindrops and waves, all rendered with pinpoint precision.
Interspersed with the paintings are murals. Waves churn along the floor on one wall, a red brick pyramid in the corner erupts like a volcano and, high above, a band of arrows whirls round the perimeter of the space.
The floor is painted to look like red brick and scattered with several pyramid-shaped sculptures, also faux brick, with additional battle scenes on certain panels. The largest pyramid, in the center of the room, supports a scale that balances the weight of two small calla lilies -- the show's only point of peace and stillness.
Schoultz hails from a loose school of San Francisco artists -- Barry McGee, the late Margaret Kilgallen, Clare Rojas and Aaron Noble (now an Angeleno) are others -- whose work integrates fine art, mural, graffiti and street art traditions with unselfconscious ease.
One result of this fusion has been a refreshingly dynamic approach to exhibition design. This is installation driven less by rarefied concepts of space, light or the presumed experience of the viewer than by the sheer joy of covering a wall.
Schoultz's imagery, however, is distinctive and increasingly so: more mystical than folkish, characterized by frenetic, often fractured compositions and overlapping currents of intricate linear patterns. He's been impressively prolific in recent years, with solo (or two-person) shows at several L.A. venues -- Taylor de Cordoba, the BLK/MRKT Gallery, Giant Robot and Track 16 -- as well as quite a few on the East Coast, and the imagery appears to be constantly shifting, developing and adapting. Certain motifs pop up again and again -- the horses, pyramids, volcanoes, ships -- but an underlying restlessness keeps it all in constant motion, which makes Schoultz one to watch: He's clearly hitting his stride.