Minimalism and more from Scholz
by Sharon Mizota
October 31, 2008
Like fellow Bay Area artist Mitzi Pederson, Zachary Royer Scholz uses everyday materials such as plywood, Plexiglas and tape to create lyrical, abstract sculptures that are charming in their simplicity and redolent of art history, particularly Minimalism. In his show at David Salow, a piece of mirrored Plexiglas bent into an arc and held in place with three perfectly spaced strands of masking tape feels like a low-rent Dan Graham, and a narrow rectangle of plywood, painted neon green on one side, casts a faint glow leaning against a wall, suggesting an unplugged Dan Flavin.
Yet, unlike Pederson, whose materials are usually off the shelf, Scholz also uses found objects that show the wear and tear of previous lives. Scuffed wooden drawers form a Donald Judd-like cube, while patches of worn sofa upholstery are pieced together to make an oversized mutant pillow. Fortunately, the emotional and historical implications of these aged materials never get in the way of the artist's formal intentions: Although their surfaces may be worn, the sculptures are far from abject.
However, Scholz is most ingenious when he ventures outside the clean lines of the Minimalist pantheon. A series of 12 poster-size digital prints depicts layered "drawings" made by stacking the patterned insides of security envelopes. The various grids and crosshatchings, framed within the rounded corners of the envelopes' address windows, create seemingly endless permutations of familiar shapes and colors. They also evoke geometric abstraction and the playful, streamlined aesthetic of 1950s graphic design. Like much of Scholz's work, they are quite marvelous in their ability to draw our attention to the aesthetic riches that surround us daily.