STEVEN SEINBERG | REST | Selected Paintings 2004-2010

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steven seinberg

rest

works on canvas 2004 - 2010





steven seinberg

rest works on canvas selected paintings from 2004 - 2010



steven seinberg

rest Essay by Karina Noel Hean

Photography: Steve Mann Steven Seinberg Cover: Studio, 2010 Asheville, NC Opposite: I Kiss Your Cup, 2006 oil and graphite on canvas 60x76 inches

© 2011. steven seinberg


A Brief Repose

Inertia is an impossibility…in a life, in a river, in a painting. Steven Seinberg’s paintings imply that motion is incessant and loss inevitable. While the desire for rest propels and holds us, it is only a temporary possibility from which we proceed and to which we progress. Embracing vagueness, Seinberg paints translucent space in layers of colorful grays occupied by indefinable elements in brief states of buoyancy, suspension, and sometimes tumult. As a cycle of paintings, the work produced from 2004-2011 reflects a key feature of a river’s ecosystem—the persistence of similar change. Seinberg’s somber paintings evolve from and update the work of mid-twentieth century American Abstract Expressionist painters, such as Cy Twombly, Robert Motherwell, Mark Rothko, and Clyfford Still, from the perspective of a twenty-first century American. The action that occurs in the openness of his large canvases is witness to a heightened sensitivity, nostalgia, and humility grounded in a spirituality of natural phenomena. While the exploration of format and media clearly engage Seinberg, as they did his predecessors, they do so largely to serve his investigation of how the life of a river flows and unfolds.

In much of the work, and particularly present in “Waiting” 2008 (22), a personal entomology occurs as one repeated character, a black biological tangle, is restated and reformed in new circumstances. In “Morning” 2009 (32) the possibility of stillness is presented in a definitive horizon line and vacuous depths of dense, white layers. The script above the horizon and dark marks below remind us that peace, though desired, is however fleeting—the day must begin, water flows…change is pending. “Flows Through” 2010 (33) pushes and buoys a living bundle past this state of inertia as water moves dirt; sometimes here and this way, sometimes there and that way. Temporary resolution occurs in “Center of Rest” 2009 (28) as a dangling life-form remains suspended, just beneath the firm horizon line that separates a warm world above and a cool, danker world below. A soft release of earthy yellow forms resumes in “Emerge” 2010 (40) and declares the constancy of change in organic systems. Seinberg maps a non-linear, kinetic narrative of a cycle that charts the stages of motion from inertia, release, and progress, back to rest, and again to emergence as the paintings consider how life is affected beneath the water’s surface, underground, and out of


As they are intuitively developed, the paintings reveal the history of their process. The canvases seem witness to lengthy pondering and reflection, interrupted by momentarily decisive attacks; they capture a kind of time and volume. Indeed, the action of how marks and brushstrokes are made is at the core of Seinberg’s subject matter. The work displays an affinity for chance and embraces the materiality of his preferred media: graphite and thin washes of oil paint. Drips, smears, and translucency create a powerfully sparse space and offer quiet visual anchors in the nebulous fields of Seinberg’s surfaces. Balance between careful, subtle calligraphic lines and emphatic, swirling gestures evoke a latent emotional tension in much of the work, and is starkly evident in “Night Opens” 2008 (15). Indecipherable text emerges from layers of wash and paint like fleeting thoughts made momentarily important. In “Flows Forward” 2008 (14) discernable forms or phrases are hushed by the painting’s complex gray and earthtone palette. Seinberg clearly values mark making and handwriting as moments of personal attentiveness, which as in the painting “Lift” 2008 (20), are vulnerably situated amongst vast and mysterious spaces.

His economical and yet passionate compositions reflect the language and meter of Octavio Paz’s poems, whose lines often appear on Seinberg’s canvases and serve as several of his titles. This echoing relationship is at times reciprocal. An excerpt from Paz’s poem “Summit and Gravity” keenly captures the visual experience of these numinous paintings: “…Between firmness and vertigo/ you are transparent balance…” In Steven Seinberg’s work, voices and natural forms are muffled; submerged beneath the surface, pushing towards the viewer as sound against air through water to be heard. The elusive organic imagery of Seinberg’s paintings emerge from his attempt to find place in the world, to see the macroscopic in the microscopic—life in a river and the inevitable interconnection between coexistent systems in a large ecology.

Karina Noel Hean Sante Fe, New Mexico March 2011


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paintings

1.

The River Picks Up its Images, oil and graphite on canvas 70x75 inches

2.

2004

12.

Thicker Side, 2007 oil and graphite on canvas 60x76 inches

Closer, 2005 oil and graphite on canvas 70x80 inches

13.

That Stone is Bread, 2007 oil and graphite on canvas 70x90 inches

3.

Gather, 2005 oil and graphite on canvas 44x50 inches

14.

Flows Forward, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 70x80 inches

4.

Set, 2005 oil and graphite on canvas 74x102 inches

15.

NIght Opens, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 44x60 inches

5.

Thicker, 2006 oil and graphite on canvas 60x76 inches

16.

Flows Forward, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 58x46 inches

6.

Path, 2006 oil and graphite on canvas 30x30 inches

17.

Wait, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 60x76 inches

7.

Wait, 2006 oil and graphite on canvas 56x46 inches

18.

Flow, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 60x70 inches

8.

Sections, 2006 oil and graphite on canvas 60x160 inches

19.

Under Edge, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 44x60 inches

9.

Morning, 2006 oil and graphite on canvas 70x80 inches opposite: detail

20.

Lift, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 58x46 inches

21. 10.

One Opens as One Closes, oil and graphite on canvas 70x104 inches

Time to Rest, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas inches opposite: detail

11.

Ready, 2007 oil and graphite on canvas 76x60 inches

22.

Waiting, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 58x46 inches

2006


23.

Waiting, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 80x70 inches

34.

Ready for Spring, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 58x46 inches

24.

Waiting, 2009 oil and graphite on canvas 70x80 inches opposite: detail

35.

Ready for Spring, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 50x40 inches

25.

Released, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 44x60 inches

36.

Urge, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 70x80 inches

26.

All Parts, 2009 oil and graphite on canvas 44x60 inches

37.

Under Light, 2010 and graphite on canvas 60x80 inches

27.

Released, 2008 oil and graphite on canvas 61x61 inches

38.

Riverbed, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 48x40 inches

28.

Center of Rest, 2009 oil and graphite on canvas 36x50 inches

39.

Rest, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 36x36 inches

29.

Waiting for the Right Moment, oil and graphite on canvas 46x58 inches

40.

Emerge, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 56x76 inches

30.

Pushed, 2009 oil and graphite on canvas 25x68 inches

31.

Mapping Underground Water, oil and graphite on canvas 29x60 inches

32.

Morning, 2009 oil and graphite on canvas 80x64 inches

33.

Flow Through, 2010 oil and graphite on canvas 74x136 inches

2009

2009


Born: 1969, Brooklyn,NY Education: 2001, MFA Georgia State University 1994, BFA Atlanta College of Art

Selected Exhibitions: 2011 2010

steven seinberg

2009 2008

2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002

2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994

Haen Gallery, Asheviile, North Carolina Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Soren Christensen Gallery, “Ready for Spring”, New Orleans, Louisiana Brenda Taylor Gallery, New York, New York Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas Soren Christensen Gallery, “Waiting for the Right Moment”, New Orleans, Louisiana Bill Lowe Gallery, “Flows Forward”, Atlanta, Georgia Bill Lowe Gallery, “Flows Forward”, Santa Monica, California Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas Hodges Taylor Gallery, Charlotte, North Carolina Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Cidnee Patrick Gallery, Dallas, Texas Lowe Gallery, Santa Monica, California Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Edith Baker Gallery, Dallas, Texas Lowe Gallery, “New River”, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, “Ground Line”, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Gallery Soolip, ”Ripening”, West Hollywood, California Lowe Gallery, “Changes”, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, “New Work”, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, “New Work”, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Chassie Post Gallery, “Seed Series”, Atlanta, Georgia


Selected Group Exhibitions:

2011 Moot Gallery, “Year of the Rabbit”, Hong Kong Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Haen Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina 2010 Selby Fleetwood Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico Bill Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Asheville Art Museum, “Looking Back: Celebrating 60 years of collecting”, Asheville, NC Haen Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas 2009 Craighead-Green Gallery, “Stimulate”,Dallas, Texas Bill Lowe Gallery, “Rest”, Atlanta, Georgia Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana 2008 Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, Florida Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas 2007 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, Florida Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana 2006 Craighead-Green Gallery, Dallas, Texas Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia Lowe Gallery, “In Search of Source”, Santa Monica, California 2005 Art Miami, Miami, FL Lowe Gallery, “Sweet Sixteen”, Atlanta, GA Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana 2004 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Lowe Gallery, Santa Monica, CA Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Cidnee Patrick Gallery, Dallas, Texas Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Toast to Life, benefit for HIV services, Dallas, Texas 2003 Lowe Gallery, Santa Monica, CA Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana Cidnee Patrick Gallery, Dallas, Texas Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2002 Lowe Gallery, gallery artists, Santa Monica, CA Huntsville Museum of Art, “Red Clay Survey”, Survey of Art in the Southeast, Huntsville, Alabama Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Warren Wilson College, Faculty exhibition, Asheville, NC Upstairs Gallery, “Silence and Light”, Tryon, NC Soren Christensen Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana 2001 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA 2000 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Atlanta College of Art Gallery, “Alumni exhibition”, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Art Papers Auction, benefit for Art Papers magazine, Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA 1999 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Benefit for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Peninsula House, Atlanta, 1998 Olga Dollar Gallery, “Abstraction Redefined”, San Francisco, California Gallery Soolip, “Retrospective”, West Hollywood, CA Olga Dollar Gallery, “Context”, San Francisco, CA Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Atlanta College of Art Gallery, “Alumni exhibition”, Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, GA 1997 Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA 1996 Allene LaPides Gallery, Santa Fe, NM Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA Art Care 1996, Benefit auction for persons with AIDS, Swissotel, Atlanta, GA 1995 Lowe Gallery, “Something for Everyone”, Atlanta, GA Art Care 1995, Benefit auction for persons with AIDS, Swissotel, Atlanta, GA 1994 Studio 2, Printmaking exhibition, Old Highland Bakery, Atlanta, GA 1993 The November Show, Juried exhibition of Atlanta artists, Atlanta, GA Chassie Post Gallery, Atlanta, GA


studio winter 2010




© 2011 steven seinberg