New Jersey artists selected for The Center for Contemporary Art’s 2022 International Juried Exhibition include Steven Epstein of Edison, who was awarded a solo exhibition by The Center’s Exhibitions Committee.
According to his artist statement, Epstein considers himself a semi-educated artist in that he’s taken classes at places like the Art Students League and the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan but doesn’t have any degrees in art.
He does much of his learning through work, according to the statement.
To him, painting is often an adventure in a search for meaning, a record of a discourse between what’s going on inside and outside of him, according to the statement. His work often has a gritty feel reflecting an interest in noir and jazz. There are expressionist influences and boundary crossing between the representational and abstract. There is often an exploration of underlying patterns suggested in compositions involving heightened impressions, atmosphere and mood of the seeming commonplace.
Epstein was selected for a solo show at the Monmouth Museum for the 2014 Emerging Artist Series. He has been part of dual artist shows at the Hamilton Gallery in 2016 (Road Work) and 2019 (Midnight Mercury).
While working as an X-ray technician he had paintings on seven covers of the trade magazine “Radiologic Technology” after being a winner in their cover contest, according to the statement. Years of working the evening shift in a hospital with midnight drives home left a lingering influence of emptiness and dark, neon lit streets and parking lots that are often seen in his work, according to his statement.
Recent studies and exposure to live models has renewed his interest in portraiture, according to the statement.
For The Center of Contemporary Art exhibit, juror Erin Jenoa Gilbert selected 48 pieces by 30 artists from 590 entries from 204 artists from across the United States and as far away as Canada, Cuba, Japan, Singapore, Sudan and Ukraine.
The exhibit is on view through Feb. 26 at the center, 2020 Burnt Mills Road, Bedminster.