New York realist painter Steven Assael is frequently compared to Old Masters such as Goya, Velazquez, and Rembrandt due to his expert use of traditional artistic techniques, such as chiaroscuro, dramatic lighting, richly saturated colors, and the prominence of the figure in his work: "Modernism has taken a direction toward the North Pole - with nowhere to go, frozen. On the way back, we are discovering new territory, using the past as a means of expressing the present. To go forward we must, at times, take a step back and evaluate our position. With progression there is always a [positive, studied] regression," Assael explains.

Steven Assael approaches the human figure with blunt honesty, and each image captures the individualism of its subjects while maintaining a romantic and artistic standpoint. Art critic Gerrit Henry describes the work of Assael as "...a celebration of life more realistic and at the same time lovely, more exciting and simultaneously more melancholic, and, finally more narrative... His gift is for a matchless perfectionism of the spirit - manifesting itself, sensually, but unsentimentally, in the form of exalted human matter."

Steven Assael is a prominent figure in the New York art scene, and has been an art instructor at the School of Visual Arts, the New York Academy of Art, and the Pratt Institute. He is the subject of much curatorial and critical acclaim, with an exhibition history spanning nearly three decades. His work is included in private and public collections worldwide, including the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in Kansas City, Missouri, and the Kumada Corporation in Kobe, Japan.

Born
1957 in New York, NY
Lives and works in New York

Education
1975-79 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1977 Independent Study in Europe, Pratt Scholarship

Teaching
1985-Present School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1991-92 Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1999-Present Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
1997-1999 New York Academy Graduate School, New York, NY

Awards
1980 and 1990 Elizabeth T. Greenshields Grant
1977 Charles Romans Award National Academy of Design, New York, NY
1975 Pratt Institute Full Scholarship, Brooklyn, NY

Selected One Person Exhibitions
2005 "New Paintings and Drawings," Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2004 Steven Assael: 21st Century Figurative Master, The Lowe Gallery, Atlanta, GA

2002 Steven Assael: Paintings, Forum Gallery, New York, NY

2001 Steven Assael: Drawings from 1996-2001, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
-- Steven Assael, Ann Nathan Gallery, Chicago, IL

2000 Steven Assael: Drawings, Ann Nathan Gallery, Chicago, IL
-- Steven Assael Paintings and Drawings, North Carolina State University at Chapel Hill, NC

1999 Steven Assael: A Decade of Painting and Drawing, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA (cat.)

1998-99 New Paintings and Drawings by Steven Assael, Forum Gallery, New York, NY (cat.)

1997 New Drawings, More Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1996 New Paintings and Drawings, Tatistcheff & Co., Inc., New York, NY (cat.)

1995 Paintings and Drawings, Payne Gallery of Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA

1994 Paintings and Drawings, Tatistcheff & Co., Inc., New York, NY

1991 Steven Assael: Recent Paintings and Works on Paper, Cray Art Center, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

1990 Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.

1989 Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY

1987 Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY

1980 National Arts Club, Gregg Gallery, New York, NY

Selected Group Exhibitions
2006 "The Art of Representation: Figures," Alva deMars Megan Chapel Art Center, Saint Anselm College, Manchester, NH

2005 "2005 Collector's Show," Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AR
-- "Figurative Impulse," Forum Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
-- "New Old Masters," Naples Art Center, Naples, FL
-- "Then as Now," Sordoni Art Gallery, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA
-- "Enduring Roles and Realism: Building on the Murray Collection," Everhart Museum, Scranton, PA

2004 "Commissioned/Non-commissioned," Chung-Cheng Gallery, St. John's University, Queens, NY
-- "Drawings VII," Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
-- "Masters and Mavericks," Seraphin Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
-- "Invitational Exhibition," Columbus State University, Columbus, GA

2003 Contemporary Works on Paper, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
-- Magic Realism: A New Generation, Sangre de Christo Arts Center, Pueblo, CO
-- Transforming the Commonplace: Masters of Contemporary Realism, Susquehanna Art Museum, Harrisburg, PA
-- Grand Opening Exhibition, Frey Norris Gallery, San Fancisco, CA
-- Modern and Contemporary Portraits curated by Townsend Wolfe, Forum Gallery, New York, NY

2002 Representations: The Art of Drawing, Schick Art Gallery, Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY
-- A Decade of American Contemporary Figurative Drawing, Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA
-- Carol Craven Gallery, West Tisbury, Martha's Vineyard, MA

2001-02 Magic Vision, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

2001 About Face, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR
-- Identities: Contemporary Portraiture, New Jersey Center for Visual Arts, Summit, NJ
-- Tulsa Collects, Philbrook Art Center, Tulsa, OK
-- National Drawing Invitational, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR

2000 Re-presenting Representation, Corning Gallery at Steuben, New York, NY
-- Drawings by 20th Century and Contemporary Masters,
-- Forum Gallery, New York, NY
-- Drawing V, Koplin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

1999 New Realism for a New Millennium, Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, NY
-- Fine Art Faculty Exhibition, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY
-- Indomitable Spirits: The Figure at the End of the Century, Art Institute of Southern California, Laguna Beach, CA

1998 Collector's Show, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK
-- It's Still Life, Forum Gallery, New York, NY
-- Realism Knows No Bounds, Van de Griff gallery, Santa Fe, NM
-- 73rd Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, New York, NY
-- The Figurative Impulse, Miami Dade Community College, Kendall Campus Art Gallery, Miami, FL

1997 Drawn From the Faculty, New York Academy of Art, NY
-- Dramatic Realism: The New Baroque, Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, Loretto, PA
-- American Academy Invitational Exhibition of Painting & Sculpture, New York, NY
-- New York State Biennial, New York State Museum, Albany, NY
-- Reality Bytes, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City, MO (cat.)
-- Invitational Figurative Group Exhibition, More Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
-- Holiday Exhibition, Laura Craig Galleries, Scranton, PA

1995 SPECTRUM, Hunter Museum of Art, Chattanooga, TN
-- Collector's Show, The Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AK
-- Summer Group Exhibition, Tatistcheff & Co., Inc., New York, NY
-- Live/Work, Queens Museum of Art, Queens, NY
-- Summer Exhibition, Park Avenue Atrium, New York, NY
-- Realism '95, Vision and Poetry, Fletcher Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
-- Collecting with Richard Brown Baker, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT

1994 Realism(s), The Murray Collection, Scranton, PA
-- Getting Romantic Again, Tatistcheff & Co., Inc., New York, NY
-- Summer Gallery Group Exhibition, Tatistcheff & Co., Inc., New York, NY
-- 169th Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, New York, NY
-- Drawings: Steven Assael/Adam Schnitzer, Tatistcheff/Rogers, Santa Monica, CA
-- Collection of Remak Ramsay, The Century Association, New York, NY

1993 Re-Representing Representation, Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY
-- Summer Group Exhibition, Lewin Gallery, New York, NY
-- Inside Washington's Galleries, Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, D.C.
-- Collectors Show, Drawing Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center, AK
-- Contemporary Realism, Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY
-- Heroism: Contemporary Images, Peconic Gallery, Suffolk
-- Community College, Riverhead, NY
-- Art of Drawing, Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY
-- Silverpoint Etcetera: Contemporary American Metalpoint
-- Drawings, The Arkansas Arts Center, AK

1992 Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, AL
-- Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME

1991 Three Directions, Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina
University, Greenville, NC
-- Expressive Visions and Exquisite Images: Two Aspects of
-- Art of the Richard Brown Baker Collection, Meadow
-- Brook Art Gallery, Oakland University, Rochester, MI
-- New Horizons in American Realism, Flint Institute of Art, MI
-- Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Naples, FL
-- Knoxville Museum of Art, Knoxville, TN

1990 Art of Fantasy, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
-- Art of Drawing, Staempfli Gallery, New York, NY
-- Love and Charity: The Tradition of Caritas in Contemporary Painting, Sherry French Gallery, New York, NY;

Selected Private and Public Collections
Mr. Richard Brown Baker
Mr. and Mrs. Philip Messinger
The Arkansas Art Center, Little Rock, AK
The Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY
K & B Corporation, New Orleans, LA
Jalane and Richard Davidson
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Danziger
Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA
Mr. and Mrs. James Thompson
Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Busquet
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City, MO
Dr. Thomas A. Mathews
Mr. Steve Martin
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Segal
Mr. John Bolton
Mr. and Mrs. Toshio Takashima
The Murray Collection
Walt Disney Corporation, Burbank, CA
Kumada Corporation, Kobe, Japan
Celestial Seasonings Corporation, Boulder, CO

Travels to
Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, Roanoke, VA
Dowd Fine Arts gallery, SUNY at Cortland, NY
The Noyes Museum, Oceanville, NY
Roland Gibson Gallery, SUNY at Potsdam, NY
Fendrick at Foster, University of Wisconsin at Eau Claire
Artspace, Raleigh, NC
Gender: Out of the Garden, Barbara Fendrick Gallery, New
York, NY; Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
Revelation and Devotion, Sherry French Gallery, NY

Travels to
Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
Art Gallery at Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN
Valparaiso University Museum of Art, Valparaiso , IN
Arnot Art Museum, Elmira, NY
Gallery Painters, Staempfli Gallery, NY
National Academy of Design, New York, NY
1989 Memory and Artifact: Romanticism Revisited, Barbara
Fendrick Gallery, NY; Fendrick Gallery, Washington, D.C.
1983 New Realism, Mullaly Matisse Gallery, New York, NY
1981 Emerging Young Artists, Nardian Gallery, New York, NY
1980 Young Realists, Harbor Gallery, Cold Spring Harbor, NY
1979, 1978 Pratt Institute, NY

Selected Bibliography
Bass, Ruth. "When a Rose is a Rose," Art News, Fevruary, 1996.

CBS, "Sunday Morning" Television Show, "A Look at a Modern Master," April 4, 1999

Codrington, Andrea. "Figuratively Speaking," Art and Auction, June, 1996.

Gehman, Geoff. "Spiritual Treasure Chest," Morning Call, January, 1996.

_______"Goings on About Town," New Yorker, November 12, 1990, p. 22.

Hagen, Charles. "In Connecticut, a Collector's Eclecticism," The New York Times, Friday, July 14, 1995.

Henry, Gerritt. "Steven Assael at Staempfli," Art in America, January, 1990.

_______. "Steven Assael at Forum," Art in America, May, 1999.

Jaeger, William. "Biennial Exhibit of Extremes," Times Union, May 5, 1996.

Karnel, Pepe. "Depicting Multiculturalism," New York Times, September, 1995.

Lipson, Farin. "Portraits in Courage, Art and Poetry of Heroism," Newsday, March, 1992.

Mann, James. "Steven Assael, Challenge of Realism," American Arts Quarterly, Vol. XIII, No. 1, 1996.

Newman, Sasha M., Collecting with Richard Brown Baker, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT, 1995.

Welzenbach, Michael, "Dramas in Dark Detail: The Paintings of Steven Assael," The Washington Post, Saturday, May 19, 1990, p. C2.

Wilson, Janet, "Romantic Realism," The Washington Post, Saturday, June 1, 1991.

 

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