Hionas Gallery exhibits eight new "residue paintings" by Stephen Maine

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Hionas Gallery exhibits eight new "residue paintings" by Stephen Maine
P21-0770 ​(2021); acrylic on canvas, 60 x 48 in

NEW YORK, NY.- Hionas Gallery is presenting Stephen Maine: Typologies. The gallery is exhibiting eight new “residue paintings” that, while emblematic of the artist’s distinctive relief print-like process and chromatically saturated palette, subtly depart from the field-oriented compositions for which he is known.

Maine’s process begins with the creation of composite templates, or relief plates, made using extruded foam, plywood, modeling paste, and other materials. Each plate
acts as a compositional blueprint and determines the general distribution of paint across the canvas surface. Maine has fabricated dozens of plates over the last decade. According to the artist, “every plate yields paintings of a certain type,” yet the character of individual paintings is also determined by the vagaries of paint viscosity and opacity, printing pressure, surface preparation, and other variables.

For his recent work, Maine has made modest but telling variations to his process. Several of the newest plates feature “more linear, less atomized” compositional types, and are made with materials (such as poured glue and spray foam) that allow the artist to emphasize drawing. The resulting works feel more fluid, constructs of a visual language that is in tune with nature and somewhat less industrial in feel than previous bodies of work.

Where Typologies doesn’t depart from prior efforts is in its overall effect. In concert with each unique plate, Maine starts each painting with a base of translucent glaze. As individual layers of paint are applied with each pressing, the surface quality and pigmentation of the canvas gradually assumes new characteristics; more layers yield bolder contrasts and a far more discernable push/pull, fewer layers bear more “naked” compositions thus revealing the artist’s process. In each instance, whatever the painting type, the elements are constantly changing.

Stephen Maine is a painter and writer based in West Cornwall, Connecticut. His work has been exhibited widely in New York City and the northeastern US, and reviewed in ARTnews, Artcritical.com, The Brooklyn Rail, Two Coats of Paint, The New Criterion, and elsewhere. He is a long-time member of American Abstract Artists and the International Association of Art Critics (AICA), and has received significant support from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Yaddo. Maine teaches at Purchase College, SUNY. Typologies is the artist’s third solo exhibition with Hionas Gallery.

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