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Steven Baris

Page 1 | Biography


Having spent his childhood years on various American Indian reservations in California, Montana, and Washington State (because his father worked for the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs), Steven Baris recalls how astounded he was upon encountering architecture outside the reservations so ‘ different’ from the architecture that he was familiar with. This biographical experience heightened Baris' awareness of his surroundings and provided a unique perspective which continues to inform his work today. In the paintings from the Geometries of Flow series, the artist focuses particularly on what he sees as "new kinds of landscapes - highly engineered and intensely geometric," rapidly expanding and fundamentally transforming the traditional American landscape. Of particular interest is the proliferation of horizontal, massive box-like structures in low density areas beyond metropolitan areas and their suburbs - usually at the intersection of major highways. These sites, referred to as distribution centers, function primarily as storage centers from which the distribution of wares to the ever sprawling cities and suburbs occurs. Using aerial photography, and satellite imagery as reference and source material, Baris creates paintings that 'document', almost in a site plan-like fashion, the compositional elements of these sites. In the Geometries of Flow series, the silhouettes of stark geometric forms lie scattered against a lush, painterly surface that is rich in both color and texture. The polygons are sometimes connected to each other by bands of color, like conduits, and other times are left disconnected, but there is a deliberate omission of any basic spatial cues within the pictorial space. The unpredictable color juxtapositions and the absence of any indication of near or far, above or below, create a spatial ambiguity intended, as Baris describes, "... to enact similar spatial tensions and paradoxes as the environments I am referencing."



Steven Baris
Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania
North America


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Web Links
Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia
DM Contemporary New York
K Imperial Fine Art, San Francisco
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