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Zoe Pettijohn Schade, Rainbow Tornado, 2008, gouache, silver leaf, and composite leaf on paper, 60 x 40".

Zoe Pettijohn Schade

Kai Matsumiya

Zoe Pettijohn Schade, Rainbow Tornado, 2008, gouache, silver leaf, and composite leaf on paper, 60 x 40".

The seven densely layered paintings on paper that made up Zoe Pettijohn Schade’s exhibition “Shifting Sets” produced a distinctly disorienting effect, especially since the works themselves, all sixty by forty inches, were hung close together in Kai Matsumiya’s small storefront space. There was something dizzying about their shifting patterns, and about the way so many of the multitudinous images out of which those patterns are formed seemed to want to jump out and fix themselves in the viewer’s gaze as individually significant; they kept the viewer’s eye and mind off-balance. In some ways, Pettijohn Schade is reviving ideas previously broached by the artists of the Pattern and Decoration movement of the 1970s. But whereas most of their work was high-spirited and celebratory, she finds darker, more complicated overtones in her decorative structures.

The works on view were the

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