Steven Pestana is a visual artist and writer living in Brooklyn. He holds an MFA in Digital Media from Rhode Island School of Design and a BA in Art History from New York University.
DIANA THATER with Steven Pestana
Immersed in a luminous sweep of the color spectrum, Thater's meditative images of natural phenomena left a strong visceral impression. The following interview took place on the last day of July at her home studio in Pasadena, CA with Thater vibrantly reaching for video excerpts, books, slideshows, and ephemera to illustrate the conversation.
The Risorgimento of Arte PoveraBy Steven Pestana
This fall, three major international galleries in New York City and one private collection mark the semi-centennial of Italy’s pivotal Arte Povera era with comprehensive surveys.
SANFORD BIGGERS: SelahBy Steven Pestana
In Selah, Sanford Biggers’s first solo exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery, the African American artist continues his ongoing exploration of African power figures and his carefully formalist work with antique quilts.
Klimt and Schiele: DrawnBy Steven Pestana
Upon entering the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s exhibition Klimt and Schiele: Drawn, visitors can choose between two paths. One offers an airy journey through delicate preparatory sketches by Gustav Klimt, and the other, a more agitated excursion into the wiry tangles of his younger contemporary, Egon Schiele.
Hope and Hazard: A Comedy of ErosBy Steven Pestana
A buxom blonde nude with bright red lips plays joyously atop a white fluffy cloud, stars overhead. Beneath her cloud, crude blue lettering reads, “We are just complicated animals.” This neon sculpture, by Dan Attoe, casts a cool glow through a gallery that was once a farmhouse, highlighting the kind of tongue-in-cheek wit that animates much of Eric Fischl’s own work. In this multi-generational group exhibition, curated by Eric Fischl, representations of mankind’s most basic and everlasting instinct—the compulsion to copulate—waver from existential to carnal in a vein that is often ribbed with humor. While none of Fischl’s own work appears in the show, his taste is everywhere apparent.
KIKI SMITH: From The CreekBy Steven Pestana
From August 12 – November 19, visitors enter the domestic bliss of Thomas Cole’s Federal style home and are immediately greeted with the sensibility of his 21st century catskill neighbor, the multidisciplinary artist Kiki Smith.
The Everywhere StudioBy Steven Pestana
The works surveyed range from conventional depictions of the artist-at-work to products of more audacious hybrid studio practices. Jay DeFeo’s photos capture her highly sculptural paintings in various stages of completion, providing a straightforward view into the artist’s process.
Visions of Order and Chaos: The Enlightened EyeBy Steven Pestana
With construction materials such as mahogany and oak originating in far-flung corners of imperial reach, at a time when long-distance travel was still an extraordinary undertaking, the cabinet itself is as much a document of empire as any of its contents. Yet, as tremors of the French Revolution rumbled to the surface, these sorts of extravagances would soon find themselves on the chopping block like so many of the period’s doomed aristocrats.
Art in the Age of the Internet, 1989 to TodayBy Steven Pestana
But in its best moments, Art in the Age of the Internet makes palpable the transformative power that constantly awaits at our fingertips. That feeling is much more real than virtual.
Leonard Cohen: A Crack in EverythingBy Steven Pestana
Well into his twilight years, Leonard Cohen continued to wander when most others might have long since settled. Of his songwriting process, he said that Every song begins with that old urgency to rescue oneself, to save oneself. Cohen didnt feel isolated in these discordant stirrings; rather, for him, this was the nature of our human condition.
N. DashBy Steven Pestana
All of the pieces in N. Dashs eponymous show at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum are untitled. By itself, this is unremarkable except if one keeps in mind that the act of naming is the first step in domesticating an object, a person, a homeland, or an idea.
Every Wall is a DoorBy Steven Pestana
Relying on devices familiar to cinema and theater such as darkened rooms, outsized projection, and spectacle, teamLab aims to make visitors participation integral to the fruition of their artworks in the service of democratizing art.
DIANA AL-HADID: Falcon's FortressBy Steven Pestana
In the Islamic Golden Age, Turkish engineer Ibn al-Razzaz al-Jazari wrote a proto-Borgesian text called The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (1206).
Of Masonry and ShadowsBy Steven Pestana
I keep a modest library of books on the subject of artists writings. I began acquiring it as a young artist in high school with books like Kandinskys Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) and The Diaries of Paul Klee (1964), hoping to absorb their lessons on synesthesia and abstraction. The compendium Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art (eds. Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz, 1996) followed during my time as an art history student.