William Steiger - Under a Telephone Pole


PRESS RELEASE: William Steiger - Under a Telephone Pole, Oct 12 - Nov 18, 2006


In his oil paintings, Steiger re-presents icons of the American landscape by reducing them to simplified, geometric shapes. Grain elevators, mills and railways are presented as free-floating triangles and parallelograms in bleached white, depopulated environments. The immaculate white surfaces function to occupy both positive and negative spaces, often signifying ground and sky within the same composition. 

By employing a repertoire of recognizable images, Steiger is able to push his paintings to a new conceptual level. The removal of naturalistic elements, a shadow or a horizon line for example, and the more recent inclusion of unusually bright colors, where earthy hues used to dominate, test the boundaries of visual recognition. The artist’s focus on the absence of line and its function in the spectator’s perception of an image, are combined with a hard-edged, flat painting style in order to call attention to the constructed nature of visual language.

William Steiger’s paintings were recently included in a three-person exhibition at Gallery Ihn in Seoul, South Korea. He exhibits regularly in the United States, and in 2003 he had a solo show at the Queens Museum of Art. His works can be found in the permanent collections of the MoMA, the Whitney and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as in numerous private and corporate collections.