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Clintel Steed: Recent Paintings, Project Space: Mary Flinn, Courtyard: Dario Mohr

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3
Date: 
Wednesday, 10 April 2024 to Saturday, 4 May 2024
Opening: 
Wednesday, 10 April 2024 - 6:00pm

CLINTEL STEED: RECENT PAINTINGS

Clintel Steed is the proud recipient of the NYSCA Artist Award for the year 2024, through which this exhibition is made possible.

Clintel Steed’s students report that he urges them to “paint your truth.” It’s an approach that he himself follows, but Steed’s truth, as a visually sophisticated Black man in the United States, is complicated. He is a virtuoso painter whose work is at once responsive to the instability of the present moment, informed by the art of the past, and inflected by intense emotion. His truth is triggered by such diverse stimuli as the inequities and traumatic events of the present day, the long history of Black people, the relationship of men and women, parenthood, joy, tragedy, and more. Steed expresses his passionate feelings through potent metaphors, in purely painterly terms, through expressive paint handling and vibrant hues, commanding our attention with unignorable imagery, urgent facture, and ambiguous images that provoke multiple associations and interpretations.

A seated couple, the man, in profile, a self-portrait, confronting a beautiful, richly dressed woman, seems, at first encounter, to be about a contemporary event, but soon suggests ancient Egypt and, by extension, Africa. Is it an alternative to slave narratives, testimony to a distinguished past and to survival? A dark-skinned male, crowned with laurel, and a rosy nude reach for each other; then we notice a sharp-eared creature embracing the woman. Is the dark hero rescuing her? The legacy of Picasso haunts a weird cluster of brown, black, and blond pink-fleshed personages against a background of pyramids. We think of Roman frescos, of Egyptian murals, of the history of Modernism, and of race relations, at the same time that we are deeply engaged by the lush, sensuous paint.

Steed explains his themes by saying “I feel like they allow me to talk about painting issues I find interesting. Time, space, and form. Weight and color and trying always to be in the now and aware of the world I am living in.” That “now” encompasses many things.

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Karen Wilkin

New York, March 2024

 

Clintel Steed was born in 1977 in Salt Lake City, Utah. He received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MFA from Indiana University, and Advanced Studies from the New York Studio School. Widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions, Steed is the recipient of the John Koch Award of the National Academy of Arts and Letters. He has taught at Columbia University and teaches at the New York Studio School.

 

Courtyard: Dario Mohr

Dario Mohr is a first generation Grenadian, U.S. Citizen with West African and Italian heritage, born in 1988. Based in New York City, Mohr is an interdisciplinary artist, educator and non profit leader. His work involves the creation of “sacred spaces” referencing his heritage, and expressing commentary on the cultural zeitgeist through immersive sanctuary experiences. In addition to his individual art practice, he is also the Founder and Director of AnkhLave Arts Alliance, Inc. which is a non-profit arts organization for the recognition and representation of BIPOC artists in contemporary art.

“Sanctuaries are reverential in nature, and often comprise both art and object. I construct these experiences referencing the visual language of my former Anglican faith, as well as my burgeoning understanding of the spiritual practices of my ancestral heritage from West Africa, and philosophies from around the world. Lately, this has included the journey of reclamation of lost ancestry due to colonialism and slavery.”

 

Project Space: Mary Flinn

Mary Flinn is an artist living in Chatham, NY who works primarily in oil paints, watercolors and pastels. Her paintings have been influenced by the many years she studied Mysore style painting in India and calligraphy in Japan.

The paintings in ‘Twelve Petals’ are figurative with a storytelling quality. The images are found during the process and do not necessarily referring to a specific myth or story. Rather, Mary uses brushes, stamps, stencils and paper towels to find inventive surfaces and illusions. In this way the image is intuitively discovered.

Venue ( Address ): 

New York Artists Equity Association Inc.
245 Broome Street
New York, NY 10002

Equity Gallery , New York, NY

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