Maxwell Stevens, “Spring Essence 2,” 2017, oil on canvas, 23 x 23 inches

Gallery ONETWENTYEIGHT in New York is excited to soon be showcasing the engaging paintings of an ascending artist. Titled “Spring Essence,” this exhibition offers an intimate painterly probing of what some theologians refer to as “thin places” or “thin spaces.” What does this mean?

There’s certainly a lot to visually and psychologically take in during “Spring Essence,” an upcoming solo exhibition of recent works by painter Maxwell Stevens at Gallery ONETWENTYEIGHT in New York City. In the show, Stevens’ paintings brilliantly combine both abstract and representational qualities.

“Superimposed with a splashy and colorfully vivid palette of scarlet, fuchsia, and rose complimented by minty greens, the visually tactile abstractions display an increase in clarity and fluidity, blending areas between abstraction and figure, with lightly scraped passages shifting in and out of focus,” the gallery writes. “Slight progressions in time are indicated by a clock on the wall and the shifting emotional tenor of the conversation, and these changes are further mirrored by watery abstractions that fluctuate and spill across each scene in a progressive manner.”

Continuing, the press release reads, “Seeking in painterly terms what some theologians refer to as ‘thin places’ or ‘thin spaces,’ and taking the position that these divine places are more psychologically than geographically defined, the artist has turned towards private scenes in his own home during Easter weekend as his point of departure. Deepening his commitment to his multi-layered approach and to the materiality of his works, canvases have been glazed dozens of times to achieve a mirror finish, while retaining a painterly approach to rendering each delicate scene with thousands of tiny brushstrokes blended together to fuse each picture. Curvilinear gestures slide across the glassy images, culminating in vibrant, floral abstractions that seem to hover and blossom above each miniaturized scene, inviting the viewer’s gaze from both near and afar as they become both voyeur and participant in the artist’s search for a thin place through his art.

“Accompanying the ‘Spring Essence’ suite are oval panel paintings cut from heavy slabs of mahogany, their beveled edges gently curving to meet the wall, while fragments of earlier deconstructed paintings are collaged onto raw linen, standing in stark contrast to the freshly painted abstractions, creating a historical subtext within the overall presentation, allowing past and present to coalesce together.”

To learn more, visit Gallery ONETWENTYEIGHT.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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