|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|Steven Cushner does abstract acrylic painting that combines patterning, drips and staining in concentric designs.|
was born in Cleveland, Ohio and studied at the Rhode Island School of
Design and the University of Maryland and earning an MA degree with Sam
Gilliam as his Thesis Advisor. Settling in Washington DC, from
1986, he was a professor at the Corcoran School of Art.
In 2002, Cushner was invited by the art faculty at the University of
Maryland to participate in an exhibition of distinguished alumni.
In the catalogue for Cushner's resulting exhibition, the following was
"One artist whose name appeared on everyone's list was Steven Cushner.
Receiving his MFA in 1980,with internationally renowned artist and
former Department of Art faculty member Sam Gilliam as his Thesis
Advisor, Steven Cushner has gone on to achieve national recognition as
an important contemporary artist. His paintings have been
exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States, and
his work is in the collections of numerous institutions, such as
Washington, DC's Corcoran Gallery of Art and Hirshhorn Museum and
Sculpture Garden. He has received many honors for his work,
including an Artist 's Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for
the Arts . He teaches at the Corcoran School of Art and American
University. The consistent quality and focused dedication of his
work and career made Steven Cushner a natural selection for this alumni
exhibition. When we approached Cushner about this exhibition, he
welcomed the idea with excitement about the chance to show a selection
of his recent large paintings in the Washington, DC area.
Due to space limitations at local venues, there has never been an
opportunity to exhibit more than one or two of his large paintings
together in a single show. These large works, along with the
works on paper, exhibit the characteristic process and imagery for
which Cushner is known. Both the large paintings and smaller
watercolors display the same combination of immediacy and depth of
experience. As fresh as the black, linear shapes and
configurations in his work feel, it is a mistake to digest them too
quickly. They harbor subtle and meaningful contradictions that unfold
before the viewer. The line's graphic nature is mediated by
insistent repainting and subtle adjustments. The images in the painted
fields exist somewhere between the worlds of culture and nature. Are
they abstracted natural objects, cultural pictographs, or both?
The surface, created by multiple layers of liquid paint, is at once
atmospheric and dense. Cushner 's work occupies a fertile
crossroads of reference and self-definition, surface and space, gravity
and humor. These are rich and sophisticated paintings, filled
with life and wit, and they feel as if they are being made right before
your very eyes.
On behalf of The Art Gallery and the Department of Art, it is with
great pleasure that we present the work of Steven Cushner for this
inaugural alumni exhibition.
Roger Atwood, "Steven Cushner-Reviews", ARTnews, October 2006, p. 187
W.C. Richardson, Associate Professor of Painting and Drawing, University of Maryland, Department of Art Alumni Series: Steven Cushner,
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