in New York, NY / United States
18.11.2021 - 05.02.2022 00:00
Paul Pretzer

Marc Straus is pleased to present Paul Pretzer’s fifth solo exhibition of new paintings with the gallery. This newest body of work is inhabited by new hybrid characters. Everyday objects and recognizable logos merge with animals. There is a wonderful tension between the familiar and the absurd. The ambivalent content is held together through masterly painterliness and vivid new color arrangements.

Pretzer’s quasi-surrealistism always has a tension between narrative subject matter and formal compositional concerns. Single objects possess the gravitas to bind entire planes of abstraction, like lonely ships amidst Turner’s turbulent seas. His attention to color, line and shape become more evident now. There is a persistent sense of the familiar – Pretzer assembles images from the rich history of art, more now from Spanish sources as Pretzer has relocated to Barcelona.

The squids are borrowed from Picasso, and the expressionistic passages of color pay fealty to Guston. Replacing decorative patterns or mountainous terrains, the colorful backgrounds are made up of vibrant and vivid brushwork. In some works monochromatic bands span the bottom, perhaps alluding to Newman’s zips. These serve as optical respites to the charged composition. In the end these are usually humorous, wry, and lively reflections of everyday objects, animals and people.

Paul Pretzer (b. 1981) completed his MFA in 2007 at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Dresden, Germany. With immediate success he has exhibited widely since 2006, including solo shows in Basel, Berlin, Düsseldorf, and New York. His work is in numerous private and public collections such as Städtische Galerie, Dresden, Stadtgalerie Kiel, The Rubell Family Collection and the Sør Rusche Collection.

Gallery hours Tue-Sat 11 am – 6 pm


Marc Straus
299 Grand Street
10002 New York, NY
United States


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