This, the first exhibit of Steve Riedell's paintings at Howard Scott Gallery, features work from two periods: paintings dating from the late 1980s and his most recent work.
"Physically, Riedell's works can be described as relief paintings that employ primary forms – mostly horizontal and vertical elements with some diagonal members – to suggest architectural structures: doors, windows, fences, bricks and boards." (Talley) The works employ a richly textured paint made with beeswax that is applied on un-stretched canvas, which then is cut and applied to wooden armatures. In the paintings of the 80s, the cut edge is exposed, acting as a concrete element of drawing. In these early works, the shift in surface level is a subtle yet strict element that contrasts with a crusty highly variegated surface.
In the recent work, things have gotten more ambiguous: the once sharp canvas edges now come into – and out of – focus beneath waxy, rubbed-down skin that envelopes them. The effect is somewhat akin to a snowdrift that partially reveals and partially hides that which it shrouds. Concerning the effect of these paintings on the viewer, critic Dan R. Talley describes these recent paintings as "suggest[ing] long-past times and places that have been distilled into iconic solids redolent with longing, melancholy and emotional evolution."
Mr. Reidell was educated in California, receiving his BA in 1982 at Art Center College of Design and his MA at Moorpark College. He has received numerous grants and prizes, including the Pollock/Krasner Grant in 2001 and the Elizabeth Grant in 2000. He lives and works in Philadelphia.