Seraphim: Paintings and works on paper
April 26-June 11, 2011
Opening reception Friday, April 29, 6-8 pm
Stephen Westfall returned from a fellowship at the American Academy in
Rome last summer. During his year there, he completed a series of
paintings that while predicated on structures already emerging in his
recent work address the extended history of geometric imagery that he set
out to explore in his Rome project, New Paintings for an Old City. They
were exhibited last year at the Academys galleries along with several
wall paintings that share elements with the paintings but engaged with the
architecture on a monumental scale.
Many of these paintings are inspired by 10th and 11th century Cosmatesque
floor patterns in churches around Italy and especially in Rome. The style
is named for a Roman family, the Cosmati, who were for four generations
architects, sculptors and workers in decorative geometric mosaics.
Westfall is looking for an animist geometry, something that is both
architectural and figural, and Cosmatesque imagery is imbued with that
quality of address while resonating in startling fashion with the European
and Minimalist geometric painting of the 20th century.
Our exhibition incorporates a selection of the Rome paintings with those
made since his return. Long recognized for an intuitively calibrated color
palette that tended early on to cool-warm juxtapositions, then to emotive
field colors against unstable grids, Westfalls recent works have presented
a more complex range of hues. Colors track from painting to painting but
are not quite the same. The grey, blue, green, yellow, violet, black, red,
orange, and pink have different values of saturation, brightness and purity,
and are deployed alongside each other in ways that disrupt the planar
space of these paintings.
Westfall is on the faculty at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers
University and the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, Bard
University. In addition to the fellowship at the American Academy in
Rome, Westfall has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nancy Graves
Foundation Grant and an Award from the American Academy of Arts and
Letters. This is Westfalls sixth exhibition at Lennon, Weinberg.
For additional information, contact Kathleen Mallaney at 212 941 0012,