NEW YORK–There is an obvious Picasso reference in Clintel Steed‘s “b-day self portrait.” The image he painted of himself is colorful and abstract, depicting several iterations of his features as though his many moods are are being expressed at once.
According to (Art) Amalgamated, where a solo show of Steed’s work is on view, Picasso and German artist Frank Auerbach are his heroes. The exhibit, the artist’s first at the gallery, includes portraits of Steed’s friends and family, jazz and blues musicians, as well as landscapes.
While the paintings have a hint of Expressionism, their most prominent feature is the thick layers of paint for which Auerbach was also known. The gallery describes Steed’s technique thus: “Steed creates thickly layered, brightly colored, paintings built up with a myriad of traditional techniques such as scumbling, washes and impasto. In some works he paints and repaints the canvas, while in others he works briskly–wet-on-wet–and lets the white gessoed underpainting crack throughout the composition.”
Steed is based in Harlem. “Clintel Steed: Works, 2008-2012” is on view from March 29 to April 14, 2012.
All photos by Arts Observer