Art on Paper show, NYC, 3/8-3/11/18,
One Man Show, George Billis Gallery.

George Billis Gallery, One man show, 12/8/17-1/6/18 , 525 West 26 Street, NYC

Red Dot show, Miami, 0ne man show , Dec 7-10/17

Group show Sara Nightingale Gallery, 8/17-9/17, Sag Harbor, New York

Art market and design, George Billis Gallery, salon show , July 2017, Bridgehampton, NY

ICFF. April 2017, New York Group show

Art on Paper show, NYC, March 2017, One man show at George Billis Gallery

George Billis Gallery, New York City, November 2016, one man show

George Billis Gallery, Southampton, New York, July- august 2016  Three person show

 Art Hampton 2016, Sara Nightingale Gallery , one man show - “ the burden” , July 2016

Sara Nightingale Gallery, Bridgehampton, 6/1-7/3/16, One man show


2017 Artist Exhibition, Guild Hall

East Hampton. April-June 2017



 
 

"art on paper"
Pier 36, New York City
March 2-5, 2017
One man show

George Billis Gallery, booth B7

•George Billis Gallery NYC, One Man Show, November 2016

•George Billis Gallery Southampton, Group Show, August 2016

•Sara Nightingale Gallery, Watermill. One Man Show June-July 2016

•Arthampton, 2016. One Man Exhibition, ‘the burden’


 

 

Theorem

Pablo Picasso, The Old Guitarist , late 1903–early 1904 Oil on panel 48 3/8 x 32 1/2 in. (122.9 x 82.6 cm) signed, l.r.: "Picasso" The Art Institute of Chicago

Pablo Picasso,The Old Guitarist, late 1903–early 1904
Oil on panel
48 3/8 x 32 1/2 in. (122.9 x 82.6 cm)
signed, l.r.: "Picasso"
The Art Institute of Chicago

“You have a blue guitar/You do not play things as they are,” (1) is a line from a well-known poem by Wallace Stevens titled “The Man with The Blue Guitar,” (1937). The poem, in 37 cantos, speaks of the nature of art, truth, performance and the inner world. It’s been widely assumed that the poem is about Picasso’s 1903 painting “The Old Guitarist,” and links Picasso’s famous quote “Art is the lie that helps us see the truth.” Although the author himself denied direct influence Stevens wrote: "I had no particular painting of Picasso's in mind and even though it might help to sell the book to have one of his paintings on the cover, I don't think we ought to reproduce anything of Picasso's."

Stevens, who didn’t achieve fame until quite late in his career (close to 60) became one of the most acclaimed poets of the 20th century.  He was an insurance salesman who understood how to live in both worlds, who through his work also wanted readers to see and feel the world through the eyes of a poet. 

In The Blue Guitar he asks readers to keep up with a constant shifting from reality to dream and back. In the this movement between reality and perception, he offers, lies a new potential interpretation of our experience. And art is the way there.

There’s a linked sensibility between Stevens' allusion to shifting perception and Steven Kinder’s work. Looking to the fertile era in art history that gave rise to Stevens' poem offers a potential plumb line.

During the early decades of the 20th century, amidst oppression and war, an incredibly rich array of innovative movements sprouted like wild varieties of colorful mushrooms popping up from a loamy terrain infused with social anxiety, fear and uncertainty. Abstraction became a precision tool to access the depth of the human psyche and express the ineffable while exploring color, form, and all the formal aspects of art production that European Romantiscm had neglected. Symbolism sliced open the vein from which the era’s major and most glamourous movements – Expressionism, Cubism, Suprematism, Constructivism, Futurism, and Art Noveaux – contemporaneously flowed.

While these movements were the life-blood of modernism, there were also some lesser-known movements that focused on the natural and phenomenological world, that were also active such as Vitalism, Orphism, Organic Symbolism and perhaps the most relevant to Kinder’s style, a wonderful short-lived movement called Abstraction-Création.  

Founded in 1931 by Czech-born František Kupka, together with Auguste Herbin and Georges Vantongerloo, painters such as Naum Gabo (brother of Antoine Pevsner), Wassily Kandinsky and Piet Mondrian also took part, “and it rapidly acquired membership of around four hundred. Abstraction-Création embraced the whole field of abstract art, but tended towards the more austere forms represented by concrete art, constructivism and neo-plasticism. Regular exhibitions were held until 1936 and five annual publications were issued. In Britain members of the modernist groupings the Seven and Five Society and Unit One, kept in close touch with Abstraction-Création. Their chief members were Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Ben Nicholson, Paul Nash and John Piper.” (2)

František Kupka,  Study Around A Point , 1925, Gouache over graphite on cream wove paper (Art Institute of Chicago)

František Kupka, Study Around A Point, 1925, Gouache over
graphite on cream wove paper (Art Institute of Chicago)

František Kupka,  Study for "Discs of Newton  ," 1991-12, Guggenheim Collection

František Kupka, Study for "Discs of Newton ," 1991-12, Guggenheim Collection

Isaac Newton, Color Wheel 1663

Isaac Newton, Color Wheel 1663

Kupka’s interest in color theory and liberating color from the claws of representation led to devising his own color wheels, inspired by Isaac Newton’s invention of 1666, which resulted in a series called “Discs of Newton,” and other visual inquiries that most likely influenced his contemporaries, like Robert Delaunay. 

Steven Kinder, sketchbook detail

Steven Kinder, sketchbook detail

The link to Kinder’s own interest in color here is applicable, both technically and visually.  His interest in how color can shift by adding or subtracting other colors or veiling layers of color, and how it can be simultaneously melted into or pressed against form, is an incessant occupation for him in the studio.   What color can do and how it behaves on paper versus canvas has been a journey over many decades.  It began for him with flat house paint that was lying around and surreptitiously began using it on raw, unprimed canvas.  He thinned the paint down with warm water and continuously tried to beat it back and work it into the submission to achieve the movement and transparent clarity he required.  When he eventually discovered raw pigment and linen it was a revelation.  Translucency and pliability of the paint —  and by extension its vivid color — was available to him in a way he never anticipated, which in turn gave his colors new vibrancy and his shapes new power.   

Steven Kinder

Steven Kinder

Wassily Kandsinsky said: Color is a power which directly influences the soul. Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand which plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.

Kinder’s fascination with the possibilities of color and shape to express powerful vibration and / or movement also has some historical precedence. The triangle and circle have figured heavily in Kinder’s work, as it did in Kandinsky’s, both on canvas and on paper. 

 “In a famous metaphor, Kandinsky likened humanity to an acute-angled triangle, whose base consists of the mass of humanity. At the apex of the triangle are a few beings, and ultimately often a single one: ‘His joyful vision cloaks a vast sorrow. Even those who are nearest to him in sympathy do not understand him. Angrily they abuse him as charlatan or madman.’ (3)

Wassily Kandinsky, DIAGONALE, 1930, oil on cardboard, 19 1/4 by 27 5/8 in. Signed with the monogram and dated 30 (lower left); titled, numbered 'No 5 ii  and dated 1930 on the reverse

Wassily Kandinsky, DIAGONALE, 1930, oil on cardboard, 19 1/4 by 27 5/8 in.
Signed with the monogram and dated 30 (lower left); titled, numbered 'No 5 ii  and dated 1930 on the reverse

While Kandinsky’s shapes were used with intent to express the interconnection between the spirit and the senses, Kinder seems more interested in the inherent aesthetic intelligence of the forms themselves, and uses them as vehicles to guide the viewer somewhere specific, often towards a mid-point in the work.

Steven Kinder

Steven Kinder

It is an homage to Euclidean geometry, a recombining of elements over and over to access power and truth (his theorems) inside the movement, and, like wind or jet turbines, these mathematical compositions are then built for energetic propulsion toward the viewer, linking the physical, natural and also the inner world. 

The Suzanne Langer, in her chapter “Imitation and Transformation in Art” (Problems of Art, 1957) said Every work of art expresses, more or less purely, more or less subtly, not feelings and emotions which the artist has, but feelings and emotions which the artist knows; his insight into the nature of sentience, his pictures of vital experience, physical and emotive and fantastic. (4)

This is what abstraction, in particular, offers us. And this is what I see in the work of Steven Kinder, an artist who has come late to painting, and not insignificantly.  He is working through layers of experience, math, art history, and color theory, and investigating the limits of the synthesis of form, color, stroke and power. 

This history is a stab at where I think it all stems from.  He might disagree.  You see, we haven’t talked about any of this.

“You have a blue guitar/You do not play things as they are,
”And the man said:
“Things as they are/are changed upon the blue guitar.”

Katherine Gass Stowe
Lyme, NH
February 2017






NEW YORK, MAY 29, 2016—Sara Nightingale Gallery, Water Mill, NY, is pleased to present NATURAL FORCES, a works on paper exhibition by American artist Steven Kinder.

The exhibition will feature a selection of never before seen works on paper ranging in size from intimate to large-scale.

This body of work, created between 2013 and 2016, represents Kinder’s playful explorations into dynamic tension and movement often found in nature–tornadoes, tidal pools, sunbursts, black holes, combustion, organic symmetry and fractals. Using raw pigment, acrylic, pencil and crayon, the high energy inherent in his approach suffuses the work with a sense of vitality that mirrors his natural inspirations. Steven Kinder (born in 1956 in New York City) has been working in all media for over 40 years. He received art instruction at Cooper Union, New York, and has been focused on painting, works on paper and tarps for the last 5 years. A concurrent solo-exhibition of his work, titled 'the burden', is on view at ArtHamptons, Booth 207 June 23–June 26, 2016. 'the burden' and Natural Forces represent the artist’s debut and first-ever public exhibitions of his work. A portion of all proceeds from 'the burden' will be donated to The Coalition for The Homeless. For further information contact sara@nightingale.com or 631-793-2256.


NEW YORK, MAY 24, 2016—Sara Nightingale Gallery, Water Mill, NY, is pleased to present 'the burden', a mixed media installation by American artist Steven Kinder and organized by curator Katherine Gass.

The exhibition will feature four monotypes printed with Jon Cone of Cone Editions Press, and two large-scale sculptures–one of them a cross made with hand-cut bamboo and cardboard signs purchased from consenting New York City homeless (replacement cardboard and fresh markers were also provided to them). The exhibition explores the survival systems and symbols of the homeless with the intent to raise awareness about the prevalence of those who remain unsheltered and invisible in major urban areas.

According to the Coalition for The Homeless, in March of 2016, there were 60,144 homeless people including 14,654 families with 23,424 homeless children sleeping each night in the New York City municipal shelter system. While The New York Times reported in April 2016 that there has been a recent drop in percentage of those living on the streets, homelessness has reached its highest level since the Great Depression of the 1930s.  For a fact sheet please visit http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city/

In response to his personal experience with homeless, Kinder’s project questions ideas about invisibility, fear, abandonment, levels of despair and the symbols that represent street survival.  Recurrent images include the outline of a woman’s hunched body, a cross, a cup, a cardboard sign and a stained glass window.  Taken individually, each has its own powerful resonance but together they begin to suggest a dialogue about transcendence, pain, systems of commodity and exchange, institutional abandonment, and redemption.  Kinder purposefully plays with the notion of perspective–the typical vantage point of looking down on someone is flipped from disdain to exaltation through changing scale and electrifying color.

Steven Kinder (born in 1956 in New York City) has been working in all media for over 40 years. He received art instruction at Cooper Union, New York, and has been focused on painting, works on paper and tarps for the last 5 years. A concurrent exhibition of his works on paper, titled Natural Forces, is on view at Sara Nightingale Gallery, 688 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY through July 17, 2016. 'the burden' and Natural Forces represent the artist’s New York debut and first-ever public exhibitions of his work. 20% of all proceeds from 'the burden' will be donated to children causes.  For further information contact sara@nightingale.com or 631-793-2256.