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Peter Schuyff

Peter Schuyff, Sans Papier, 2004–2014. Carved pencils and sticks, dimensions variable. Private collection; courtesy the artist. Photograph by Peter Tijhuis

Peter Schuyff, Sans Papier, 2004–2014. Carved pencils and sticks, dimensions variable. Private collection; courtesy the artist. Photograph by Peter Tijhuis

Born 1958 in Baarn, Netherlands
Lives and works in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Peter Schuyff makes the carvings on view in the Biennial by holding a knife in place and rhythmically moving a pencil along its edge—all without looking at what he’s doing. This practice functions as a meditation that the artist engages in when he tires of working on the geometric abstract paintings for which he is perhaps better known.

The Dutch-born Schuyff began creating similar carvings during a hiking trip through the jungles of Papua New Guinea in the early 2000s. Sitting in total darkness, he spent the nights whittling intricate patterns into small sticks. When he returned to New York, he began engraving patterns into pencils while watching television. The artist has also hewn baseball bats and logs into similar corkscrewing shapes.

On View

Fourth Floor

Peter Schuyff’s work is on view in the Museum’s fourth floor galleries.