In the second gallery, a sandy desert floor set the scene for the “Suicide Paintings”—eerily beautiful, vacant, hand-painted skies—pure nothingness in gradations of blue or gray, like amnesiac Ruschas. The third gallery featured automatic “Therapy Paintings”: enlarged printed ballpoint doodles on painterly surfaces. His black-cat sculptures lolled about or gazed at the works. Within Pruitt’s odd mix of sincerity, trivia, profundity, and parody, he finally seems to be revealing and critiquing himself.
A version of this story originally appeared in the January 2015 issue of ARTnews on page 82.