Galerie Bruno Massa

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MAXWELL STEVENS (USA)


Born in 1971, Charleston, SC, USA
Lives and works in New York City, NY, USA


Maxwell Stevens received an MFA in Painting from the School of Art at Washington University in Saint Louis in 1995, and a BFA in Painting from The Atlanta College of Art, now SCAD Atlanta in 1993. He is best known for his multi-layered paintings and drawings that overlay photorealistic images with vivid, energized abstractions. Shortly after moving to New York City, after many years of working exclusively in non-representational abstraction, Maxwell Stevens embarked on a significant stylistic shift in his approach to his art. He began composing his canvases with recognizable imagery, incorporating photorealist figures and lifelike scenes into his works, and then abruptly superposing these paintings directly with tumultuous abstractions. This new period is clearly identifiable by large abstract painted gestures superimposed directly on top of photorealist paintings that have become increasingly descriptive, with each series correlating the seasons, Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter, around a deeply personal and often autobiographical theme. In an essay entitled Maxwell Stevens: Thesis, Antithesis & Synthesis, NYArts Magazine observed “These vivid gestures of thick impasto grow invariably in an upwards motion as abrupt expressions that reach the viewer with immediate emotional charge and the space far beyond the canvas.” By dramatically increasing the surface tension of the canvases, from the chaotic clouds of brushstrokes that remain individually visible underneath, to the bowlike tension of a unified flat and hard mirror surface, the artist makes them most accessible to the viewer. Writing for Meer Magazine, Art Critic Alejandro Pardo described the paintings this way, “The surface you see becomes both the frontier that separates and the gate that opens and integrates the outer and inner spaces.” The possibilities with his newly invented approach has allowed him to introduce a wide variety of content and narrative situations into what at first glance often appears as a purely abstract picture, opening up to new subject matter while raising important questions about the very nature of representation, perception, and pattern recognition, constantly questioning and pushing the limits of painting as a form. Often working with everyday scenes drawn directly from life, the artist has said “I’m interested in the domestic arena as the primary site for our psychological and emotional experiences, and in how we exist differently, historically, within each passing moment. I try to use abstraction and the fragmentation of representational imagery to evoke this.” Exploring an array of subjects over the years, his pictures address many of the shared aspects of the human condition. Maxwell Stevens has exhibited extensively and internationally in contemporary venues from Tokyo to Dallas to New York, alongside major artists such as Cy Twombly, Joseph Beuys, and Dorothea Rockburne. His paintings and projects have been featured in numerous publications including Art in America, NY Arts Magazine, Meer Magazine, The Museum of Modern Art Contemporary Drawing and Print Associates Bulletin, Fine Art Connoisseur, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Art Papers, among many others.


Education

1995 MFA, Washington University in Saint Louis, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts. Graduated with Honors
1993 BFA, The Atlanta College of Art. Forward Arts Scholar, 1992-1993.

Solo Exhibitions

2021 Autumn Leaves, New Paintings, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA
2020 Hypertexture Paintings, Online Viewing Room, Studio & Showroom, New York, USA
2017 Spring Essence, New Paintings, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA
2016 Summer Table Paintings, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA
2013 New Paintings, LIC Open, Long Island City, New York, USA
2011 Meeting and Parting, Chelsea West Gallery presented by Ressle|Chun, New York, USA
2009 Asian Bath Paintings, Chelsea West Gallery, New York, USA
2006 Paintings, Thomas Werner Gallery, New York, USA
2004 Wave Paintings, Long Island City, New York, USA
2001 Red & White, New Gallery, Houston, USA
2000 New Paintings, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, USA
1999 Paintings, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis. USA

1998 New Paintings, Solomon Projects, Atlanta, USA
1998 New Faces, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, USA

1997 Blue, The Saint Louis Design Center, Saint Louis, USA
1995 Thesis Exhibition, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis, USA
1993 Abstract Paintings, Gallery 100, Atlanta, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2023 Of Integration, Van Der Plas Gallery, New York, USA
2023 Interferences, M.A.D.S. Art Gallery, Milan, Italy

2022 8 X 12, FLOOR_, Seoul, South Korea
2022 MENA NFT Exhibit, PRISM NFT, The Bahrain Ritz-Carlton, Manama, Bahrain

2021 Tilted Visions, VillageOne Art, New York, USA
2018 PROOF: Media for Social Justice Benefit, Richard Taittinger Gallery, New York, USA
Curated by Joseph Knight (Knight & Hammer) and Fran Kaufman (Kaufman Vardy Projects)
2016 Visual Aids Benefit Exhibition, Sikkema-Jenkins & Co., New York, USA

2015 Art Olympia, Toshima City Hall, Tokyo, Japan
2015 Hypercalligraphic, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA. Includes Sol LeWitt, Kazuko Miyamoto,
Scott Alger, Caroline Scott, Haruko Mochimaru, Helmut Krackie, K & D, Yuko K., Kaitlin Martin
2015 Spring Invitational Exhibition & Benefit, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, New York, USA
2015 NYC Salon Showcase, Arts @ Renaissance, Brooklyn, New York, USA
2015 New Work City, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, New York, USA
2015 Last Dance at The Old Gem, Arts @ Renaissance, Brooklyn, New York, USA
2015 Family Ties, Brooklyn / Dallas, 500X Gallery, Dallas, USA
2015 Modernism Fine Art Auction, Link Auction Galleries, Saint Louis, USA

2014 Kimono Kimono, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA. In conjunction with Sol LeWitt: Wall Drawing 731. 2014 Family Style, (Formerly) Pocket Utopia, New York, USA. Curated by Julie Torres.
2014 Second Family, (Formerly) Pocket Utopia @ 2 Rivington, New York, USA

2010/11 The Winter Salon – In Synthesis, Elga Wimmer PCC, New York, USA
Curated by Björn Ressle and Hee Yuen Chun. Includes Carl Andre, Joseph Beuys, John Cage, Robert Raushenberg, Cy Twombly, Robert Ryman and others.

2009 The First Decade, White Box, NY, USA sponsored by Phillips de Pury & Co., New York, USA. Extended view May-June 2009. Color catalogue with commentary by Ethan Cohen.

2008/09 The Winter Salon – Works on Paper, Björn Ressle Fine Art, New York, USA
Extended view December 2008 thru January 31, 2009. Includes Dan Flavin,
Sol LeWitt, Alex Katz, Richard Tuttle, Dennis Oppenheim, Dorothea Rockburne and others.

2007 Summer Show, LIC Arts Open, Long Island City, New York, USA
2006 Art on Paper, Contemporary Art Fair, New York. Thomas Werner Gallery, New York, USA
2005 Paper One, Selected Drawings by Nine Artists, Thomas Werner Gallery, New York, USA
Night of 1000 Drawings, Artists Space, New York, USA

2004 Selections, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, St. Louis, USA. Curated by Bruno David.
1/3
2003 Way to Blue, Devin Borden Hiram Butler Gallery, Houston, USA
2003 Invitational Exhibition, PS122 Gallery, New York, USA
2003 International Abstraction, Stage Gallery, New York, USA. Curated by Phyllis Braff, Art Critic, The New York Times
2003 The Potent Line, The Williams Tower Gallery, Houston, USA
2003 The Last Picture Show: Four Contemporary Painters Explore the Gesture, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis, USA
2003 Miniatures, an Invitational Exhibition, Hooks + Epstein Galleries, Houston. Curated by R. Eric Davis.

2002 Texas/New York, Stux Gallery, New York & New Gallery, Houston, USA
2002 Through Thick and Thin: Four Artists, New Gallery, Houston, USA
2002 Invitational Exhibition, DiverseWorks Artspace, Houston, USA. Curated by Sara Kellner
2002 Surface Tensions, The Galveston Art Center, Texas, USA
2002 Round One, Hooks + Epstein Galleries, Houston. Curated by R. Eric Davis
2002 Benefit Exhibition, The Japan-America Society of Washington, D.C, USA

2001 Art Miami 2001, Miami, USA
2001 Summer Exhibition, Elliot Smith Contemporary Art, Saint Louis. Saint Louis, Saint Louis

2000 Selected Works, Kiang Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2000 A Salute to the Forward Arts Scholars of The Atlanta College of Art, Swan Coach House Gallery, Atlanta, USA
2000 Selected Works, Gallery FAB, University of Missouri, Saint Louis, USA

1999 Contemporary Art Showcase, CNN Showroom, represented by Solomon Projects, Atlanta, USA
1998 Numinous: Maxwell Stevens, Jerald Ieans, Mary Judge. Solomon Projects, Atlanta, USA. Color catalog with essay by Jerry Cullum, Senior Editor, Art Papers.
1998 Art + Soul Open Studios: Downtown, Saint Louis, USA

1997 Summer Selections, Nancy Solomon Gallery, Atlanta, USA

1996 The Delta Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts, Little Rock, USA
1996 Painting Exhibition, SLCC Gallery, Saint Louis, USA

1994 Group Painting Exhibition, Blue Moon Alternative Artspace, Saint Louis, USA
1994 38 Hands, Pierce Arrow Gallery, Saint Louis, USA

1993 Artcare AIDS Benefit Art Auction, Hotel Nikko, Atlanta, USA
1993 Drawing Now, Tula Foundation Gallery and Nexus Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, USA

1992 Artcare AIDS Benefit Art Auction, Swissotel, Atlanta, USA
1992 ACA Gallery, Atlanta, USA. Curated by Jerry Cullum, Senior Editor, Art Papers
1992 Seven Painters, Gallery 100, Atlanta, USA

Catalogues

2023 Contemporary Art Explore. Studioarte22 Catalogue (Hardcover) Critical essay by Beatrice Cordaro, Italy
2023 Interferences. Exhibition catalogue, Milan, Italy

2015 Art Olympia. Exhibition catalogue, Tokyo, Japan
2011 Maxwell Stevens Drawings, in conjunction with CWG Gallery, New York, USA
2009 The First Decade, White Box. New York. Exhibition catalogue. Essay by Ethan Cohen
2008 Vermillion Set. Limited Signed Edition
2006 Maxwell Stevens Paintings, Exhibition catalogue, Thomas Werner Gallery. New York, USA
1998 Numinous. Color catalogue with essay by Jerry Cullum, Senior Editor, Art Papers
1996 Delta Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture, The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock. Essay by Robert Stackhouse

Presentations

2021 Artist Talk, Autumn Leaves, New Paintings, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA
2016 Artist Talk, Summer Table Paintings, Onetwentyeight, New York, USA
2011 Ink & Parchment Drawings, One Great Jones Gallery, presented by Björn Ressle Fine Art, New York, USA
2009 The Armory Show, Angles Gallery, Santa Monica, USA
2006 Artist Talk, Thomas Werner Gallery, New York, USA
2002 Five Textures, New Gallery, Houston, USA
2002 Artist Talk, Slide Jam: Presentations by Emerging Artists, Contemporary Art Museum, Houston, USA
2001 Visiting Artist, Looking at Art, Contemporary Artists Studio Visit Series, Houston, USA
1997 Visiting Artist, Painting Department, Webster University, Saint Louis, USA
1996 Visiting Artist, Introduction to Abstraction, The Saint Louis Art Museum, USA

Awards

2015 Recipient. Finalist Award. Presented by Art Olympia Committee, Tokyo, Japan
1998 Finalist. Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship. San Francisco Art Institute, USA
1998 Recipient. Artist Projects Grant, Provided by the Regional Arts Commission, Saint Louis, USA
1994-95 Graduate Teaching Fellowship, Washington University in Saint Louis, Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, USA
1993 Recipient. The Nannie Boyd Award for Studio Excellence, Presented by The Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta, USA
1992-93 Recipient. The Forward Arts Award, Full Tuition Scholarship Provided by The Forward Arts Foundation, Atlanta, USA
1992 Recipient. The Ben Shute Award for Representational Painting. Presented by The Atlanta College of Art, USA



Drum Circle, Central Park
2019
oil on canvas
160 x 130 x 5,5 cm - 63 x 51,2 x 2,2 in


Autumn Leaves Abstraction 1
2020
oil on canvas
16,1 x 30,5 x 0,6 cm - 6,3 x 12 x 0,2 in


Soft Focus Male Nude 2
2005
oil on canvas
131 x 105 x 5,5 cm - 51,6 x 41,3 x 2,2 in


Autumn Leaves, Rehearsal at Bethesda Fountain
2020
oil on canvas
183 x 244 x 5,2 cm - 72 x 96,1 x 2 in