New York

Ben Schonzeit

Nancy Hoffman Gallery

Ben Schonzeit’s paintings are more closely allied to the potentialities of photography than is the work of almost any other photo-Realist painter. No matter what his subject matter, his overriding concern is with the artistry of the color photograph. A common reaction to his air-brush paintings is the viewer’s questioning of whether they are indeed paintings. This ambiguity is enhanced by Schonzeit’s method of image construction. He projects a slide of a photograph on the canvas and copies it exactly, generating a machinelike paint surface which is identical at ten feet or two inches.

Realism may be an excuse for abstraction, as is the case with Janet Fish’s paintings of glassware. Schonzeit thinks of his close-ups of vegetables as color fields and has said of his painting of cauliflower heads, “I spent a year looking for a cream and indigo subject.” But the paintings are more about a type

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