The Painting Center is pleased to present Craig Manister: Still Life. The exhibition will include recent still life paintings done over the last two years.
Craig Manister is a painter who was known for painting large, thickly impastoed abstractions following his time studying with Pat Passlof and Milton Resnick in the early 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976 he studied at the NY Studio School. He was included in After the Fall: A Survey Of Abstract Art In New York After1970, that took place in 1997, curated by Lilly Wei for the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center. Paintings were shown at the National Academy Museum in 1996 and 1998. Manister’s ideas about painting began to change radically after traveling through Italy beginning in 1998.
Elements of figuration began to appear in his abstractions of the late 1990’s as forms based on keyholes were used as surrogates for the human figure. Gradually the paintings engaged imagery fully as the keyhole forms appeared in the landscape.
In the latest work, Manister painted perceptually from still life objects, mediated by classical values and structures. These paintings were influenced by issues that came up during teaching. Evaluating student work and then figuring out solutions to the problems that young painters often found themselves in opened up a number of fascinating outcomes that begged for exploration. The current exhibition is the result of these explorations.
Manister currently lives and works on Staten Island. He teaches at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York, where he is Director of the Gallery of the College of Staten Island. An accompanying catalog with an essay by Jennifer Samet will be available.