In this new series of oil paintings, William Steiger continues his topics of landscape, architecture and evolvement of the early 20th century. Steiger perseveres in his depiction of compressed, quiet and unpopulated spaces. As the artist has continued to delve into his subjects, the new paintings have increasingly become more abstract. The structures within the paintings are familiar yet read as stage sets for real life. While the new works are more colorful, their backgrounds are now a brilliant white. The whiteness becomes the signifier of land, sky and water.
Formally, two motifs are explored within the works. Either complexly drawn lines or simplified planes define architecture. In the painting depicting a detail of the Wonderwheel at Coney Island, The Ride, an elaborate weaving of brightly colored lines brings into being the Wonderwheel’s structure and movement. Elevator III defines structure with an extremely simplified series of planes and darkened doors and windows seemingly floating in space. The forms rise from, and meld into the landscape in which they appear. The artist, presenting us with these simplified lines and forms, asks us to see volume and dimension. And because he is so convincing in his presentation, we are eager to oblig