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Steven Cushner on View at HEMPHILL

March 16 - April 27

March 16, 2024-April 27th, 2024

ABOUT THE EXHIBIT: The differentiation of visual artwork as abstract or representational stubbornly persists. Similar to the artificial divide between the conceptual and the beautiful. These have become tired and tedious arguments. Nevertheless, these designations resist dissolving one into the other. But are we not able to see both ways simultaneously? Is not every artwork both? Rather than looking at the history of Modernism through the pedagogical logic of -isms, we could see the modern art history of these opposing positions as one mutually continuous effort. This way of seeing art is more natural to the contemporary viewer than the clever after-the-fact breakthrough following an explanation. Interpreting a painting is feeling a painting; feeling a painting is inseparable from interpreting a painting — duh.

A few years ago, Cushner sat on a beach, notebook in hand, and his mind wandered. He looked out at the skyscape above the ocean and wondered about the majestic, moody, threatening, light-reflecting, color-capturing, and soon-to-evaporate. He asked himself, “What can I do with this?” Merging the abstract and representational without argument in a uniquely unpretentious way, Cushner employed his now famous approach to painting, answering the question he posed himself that day on the beach.

STEVEN CUSHNER consists of paintings and works on paper from 2022-2024. Cushner was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1954. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art from Rhode Island School of Design in 1976 and a Master of Fine Art in painting from the University of Maryland in 1980. He is the recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities. His work has been exhibited at many galleries nationally and is included in numerous private and public collections, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, the American University Museum, Washington, DC, and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT.

HEMPHILL is open Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 5pm and by appointment.

Exhibition on view March 16 – April 27, 2024


March 16
April 27


434 K Street NW
Washington, DC, 20001
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(202) 234-5601
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(202) 234-5601
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