Peter Schuyff, a young Dutch-born artist who lives in New York, has slipped into a new local gallery with the least pretentious show possible. Most of the little watercolors lining the walls of a long room look rather like swatches of plaid cloth. There's a ripple here, a puddle of wet-in-wet color there and a nearly endless variation of patterns, but Schuyff repeatedly turns his attention to such simple matters as the effect of one transparent color on another, rhythmic repetitions and variations on a grid. The only real deviation from these exercises is in watercolors that turn the grid into a diamond and tip it back into illusionistic space.
Some of the sheets are intricately designed--in particular, a gray piece with tiny squares of carefully graded values--but the show won't impress anyone who's looking for a tour de force. This work is just a low-key reminder of the kind of patient investigation that lies at the heart of art. (HoffmanBorman Gallery, 912 Colorado Blvd., to March 21.)