July 8, 2017
In this new series of 20-by-16-inch acrylic-on-canvas works, the artist used a single screen-printing stencil to further his ongoing investigation of color, surface, process and seriality. Recognized for his deliberate yet improvisational technique and sumptuous, idiosyncratic palette, Maine achieves a beguiling synthesis of chance and purposefulness with these paintings, in which the same all-over composition finds many different ways to sizzle.
“Stephen Maine has been quietly working out a language of process-driven abstraction for a number of years, experimenting with various methods of applying acrylic paint that defy easy identification – the pictures sometimes look like photos or photographically derived silkscreens, other passages resemble x-rays, some look like they were eroded by acid or exploit the resistance of oil and water. The resulting enigmatic images are the most prominent aspect of these all-over compositions, but the real glue is the color. Some are in tightly controlled, narrow value ranges – the light ones look backlit and the dark ones look spooky. Some are in colors that self-consciously clash in a loud-shirt, op sort of way. Each color grouping has its own emotional content, strongly influencing the kind of information that paint application supplies – pictures made with the same process might evoke a summer day or an MRI of a brain depending on the palette. “ – Paul Corio, Painter’s Table, October 7, 2015
Stephen Maine (American, b. 1958) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and West Cornwall, CT.
His work has been seen recently at Hionas Gallery in New York and County Gallery in Palm Beach, and in numerous group shows in the Northeast; upcoming projects include exhibitions at Odetta Gallery in Brooklyn and Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the New York Public Library; the Whitney Museum of Art’s Frances Mulhall Achilles Library; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Yale University Art Galleries; and the Museum of Modern Art Library Special Collection. He has received support from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Yaddo. His critical writing has appeared in Art in America, ARTnews, Art on Paper, the New York Sun, Artillery, Artnet.com Magazine, Hyperallergic.com, and Artcritical.com, where he is a Contributing Editor.