Home Artists Stephen Maine


Stephen Maine

United States

6 Works exhibited on Kooness

Represented by

Works by Stephen Maine

Frankly Scarlet 2


27.9 x 35.6cm

1050,00 €

Frankly Scarlet 4


27.9 x 35.6cm

1050,00 €

Frankly Scarlet 5


27.9 x 35.6cm

1050,00 €

Frankly Scarlet 52


27.9 x 35.6cm

1050,00 €

Frankly Scarlet 47


27.9 x 35.6cm

1050,00 €

Frankly Scarlet 50


27.9 x 35.6cm

1050,00 €

Stephen Maine (American, b. 1958) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and West Cornwall, CT. He is an American abstract painter, writer, curator and teacher, a member of the American Abstract Artists and a contributing editor at Artcritical.com. His paintings engage and extend contemporary ideas about color, composition, surface and process. 

“Stephen Maine has been quietly working out a language of process-driven abstraction for a number of years, experimenting with various methods of applying acrylic paint that defy easy identification – the pictures sometimes look like photos or photographically derived silkscreens, other passages resemble x-rays, some look like they were eroded by acid or exploit the resistance of oil and water. The resulting enigmatic images are the most prominent aspect of these all-over compositions, but the real glue is the color. Some are in tightly controlled, narrow value ranges – the light ones look backlit and the dark ones look spooky. Some are in colors that self-consciously clash in a loud-shirt, op sort of way. Each color grouping has its own emotional content, strongly influencing the kind of information that paint application supplies – pictures made with the same process might evoke a summer day or an MRI of a brain depending on the palette. “ – Paul Corio, Painter’s Table, October 7, 2015


Maine attended the Rhode Island School of Design, Hartford Art School, the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts and the Yale Summer School of Music and Art before receiving his BFA in Painting from Indiana University, Bloomington, in 1982. He received his MFA in Visual Art from the Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2014. From 2006 to 2016 he taught in the MFA Fine Arts program at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He currently teaches at the Parsons School of Design and at the State University of New York at Purchase.


In a process closely akin to relief printmaking, Maine uses textured surfaces to apply fluid acrylic paint indirectly to prepared canvas. He makes these surfaces or “plates,” some of which are quite large, out of common materials such as plywood, extruded foam, plastic and glue. Maine rolls or brushes wet paint over the plate and presses it into the canvas, using custom built contraptions to ensure alignment (registration) of successive applications. Integral to the process is the idea that the entire surface is treated with paint at the same moment. For Maine that means compositional phenomena are allowed to occur with minimal interference from his ego. This approach to composition is productively at odds with his color decisions, which are closely calibrated. Sometimes a single paint application, in concert with the field of color that is the ground, is sufficient to yield a visually engaging result. In most cases, however, to complete an image multiple layers and more complex interactions of hues are called for. The entire process balances precision and unpredictability.


Color itself, and the material properties of paint as embodied color, provide Maine with his primary inspiration. His open-ended and intentionally imprecise production methods yield results that cannot accurately be foreseen, and he delights in the element of surprise they bring to his studio activity. He is inspired by the aleatoric elements of his process, which allows his materials and surfaces to collaborate in the creative act rather than be scrutinized and dominated by the artist. Says Maine; "This work has provided me with a concrete way to think about compositionality, seriality, improvisation, presentation, and the psychology of visual perception."

Notable quote

In a 2015 article in The Brooklyn Rail, artist and writer Tom McGlynn described the work of Stephen Maine as follows:

“Maine has an obvious formal control over his palette, due to a long-standing investigation of color, translucency, and the influence of color on the virtually shifting tectonics of “painting space”… This is a key to his practice. Color can directly engage the physiological mechanism of the eye while simultaneously initiating a string of associative logic in one’s random memory, and Maine’s paintings approach a critical boiling point at the admixture of optical reaction and the accidental, yet uncannily recognizable gesture.”


Work by Maine is included in the permanent collections of several important institutions, including that of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the New York Public Library, the Museum of Modern Art Library Special Collection, the Whitney Museum of Art, Frances Mulhall Achilles Library, the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Yale University Art Galleries, as well as the United States Department of State Art in Embassies Collection.


Stephen Maine has exhibited extensively. His work has been featured in numerous solo exhibitions in New York, and group exhibitions throughout the United States as well as in Europe and Mexico.

His work has been seen recently at Hionas Gallery in New York and County Gallery in Palm Beach, and in numerous group shows in the Northeast; upcoming projects include exhibitions at Odetta Gallery in Brooklyn and Five Points Gallery in Torrington, CT. His work is in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the New York Public Library; the Whitney Museum of Art’s Frances Mulhall Achilles Library; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; Yale University Art Galleries; and the Museum of Modern Art Library Special Collection. He has received support from the New York Foundation for the Arts and Yaddo. 



Stephen Maine: New Paintings, Hionas Gallery, New York


Stephen Maine: New Paintings , Hionas Gallery, New York ( Sept. 9 – Oct. 4 )

Stephen Maine: Residue , National Arts Club, New York (Nov. 30 – Jan 2, 2016)


Stephen Maine: Halftone Paintings , 490 Atlantic Gallery, Brooklyn , NY (April 5 – May 10)

Stephen Maine: Paintings , Melville House , Brooklyn, NY (Sept. 28 – Dec. 31)


Stephen Maine: New Paintings , 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY



Beyond Black and White, cur. Henry Brown and Li Trincere, Westbeth Gallery, New York, NY

Engineering an Abstraction, Next to Nothing Gallery, New York, NY
Outside In, cur. Scott Reeds, Felician University, Rutherford, NJ
Vibrant, cur. Claire McConaughy, Bergen Gallery, Paramus, NJ
Small Painting, County Gallery, Palm Beach, FL
Oppler, cur. Mel Prest, Transmitter Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Chromatic Space, cur. Jonathan Lippincott, Fiterman Art Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College, New York
Visible Histories, cur. Max Weintraub, Morris-Warren Gallery, NY
The Onward of Art, cur. Karen Wilkin, 1285 Avenue of the Americas Gallery (UBS Gallery), New York (catalogue)
Inaugural Exhibition, County Gallery, Palm Beach, FL

Endless, Entire, cur. Rachel Nackman, Five Myles, Brooklyn, NY
Diphthong, Fiterman Art Center, Borough of Manhattan Community College, NY
Stack/File, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn NY

Doppler Shift, cur. Mary Birmingham, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit NJ (catalogue)
Sensory Impact, Morgan Stanley World Headquarters, Purchase NY
Paperazzi 3, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
For Leo: American Abstract Artists Tribute Exhibition, Sideshow, Brooklyn, NY

Physical Property, cur. Kim Uchiyama, Brian Morris Gallery, New York NY
Doppler, cur. Mel Prest, Parallel Art Space, Bushwick (catalogue)
Dynamic Invention: American Abstract Artists at 75, Brattleboro Museum and Art Center, Brattleboro VT (catalogue)
Paperazzi 2, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
CONstruct/conSTRUCT: The Organizing Principle, Schiltkamp Gallery, Clark University, Worcester MA

Uncovered: Prints. Selections for the Kentler Flatfiles. Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Minus Space en Oaxaca, Instituto de Artes Graficas de Oaxaca, Mexico
Beauty Debate: Detroiter’s First Annual Invitational, Art Effect Gallery, Detroit
Mic: check (occupy), Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Paperazzi, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
American Abstract Artists International, Paris Concret
Textility, cur. Mary Birmingham and Joanne Mattera, Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NJ (catalogue)

Chain Letter, Samson Projects, Boston
Flag Day, cur. Janet Goleas, Islip Art Museum, Islip, New York
Abstraction [to the power of infinity], cur. Janet Kurnatowski, Ice Box Project Space, Crane Arts, Philadelphia, PA
American Abstract Artists International, Deutscher Künstlerbund Projektraum, Berlin
American Abstract Artists 75th Anniversary Exhibition, OK Harris Works of Art, NY
Paper A-Z, Sue Scott Gallery, NY
Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists, cur. Nancy E. Green, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
Paper 2011, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
It’s All Good (apocalypse now), Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Social Photography, Carriage Trade, NY

American Abstract Artists International “L’astrazione vista da un cosmopolita,” Otranto, Italy
Group Show, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

It’s a Wonderful 10th, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Paper Work, Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Urban/Suburban, Kansas City Jewish Museum, Overland Park, KS
Partners+Life, Brooklyn Public Library, Brooklyn, NY
It’s a Wonderful Life, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Peace, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Painting’s Edge 2008, Idyllwild Art Center, Idyllwild, CA (Traveled to Riverside Art Museum)
American Abstract Artists: Tribute to Esphyr Slobodkina, The Painting Center, New York, NY

Material Matter, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Lineage 7, M3 Gallery, Piermont, NY
Radius, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
Continuum: Small Works by AAA Members, Saint Peter’s College, Jersey City, NJ
100 Works on Paper, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
War is Over (Again), Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Design/Build, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
100 Works on Paper, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
War is Over, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

100 Works on Paper, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY

Gyrations: Selections From the Flat Files, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Merry/Peace, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
Breathing Space, Metaphor Contemporary Art, Brooklyn, NY
Balancing Act, Abrons Art Center, Henry Street Settlement, New York
100 Works on Paper, Kentler International Drawing Space, Brooklyn, NY
Annual Exhibition and Auction for Women’s Cancers, Sideshow Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

The Big Abstract Show, The Painting Center, New York

Print 2002: Contemporary American Printmaking, 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY
25th Anniversary Benefit Exhibition, The Drawing Center, New York

Group show, 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY
Works on Paper, 354 Exhibitions, Brooklyn, NY
Buying Time: Nourishing Excellence, Sotheby’s, New York (NYFA)
Benefit 2001, Momenta Art, Brooklyn, NY

The Brooklyn Project, Semi-Public Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

#2: New Work and Invited Guests, Toil Studio, Brooklyn, NY

New Members Show Part Two, City Without Walls Gallery, Newark, NJ
Abstraction and Reality, Montgomery Space, Jersey City, NJ
For Art’s Sake, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

Five Painters, Momenta Art, Philadelphia, PA
Visions of Hartford, Old State House, Hartford, CT

New Jersey Painting Today, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Madison, NJ
Four By Five, Jersey City Museum, Jersey City, NJ

The Drawing Show, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston MA

Dewitt Godfrey and Stephen Maine, R C Erpf Gallery, New York

Selections 33, The Drawing Center, New York


His critical writing has appeared in Art in America, ARTnews, Art on Paper, the New York Sun, Artillery, Artnet.com Magazine, Hyperallergic.com, and Artcritical.com, where he is a Contributing Editor.


SVA Faculty Lecture (April 23), https://vimeo.com/98044017 Studio Critical http://studiocritical.blogspot.com


Nancy E. Green, Splendor of Dynamic Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists (exhibition catalogue). Ithaca: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

Gorky’s Granddaughter , vide o interview (Sept. 9) http://www.gorkysgranddaughter.com/2013/09/stephen - maine - august - 2013.html


“Material Means,” in Textility catalogue by Mary Birmingham and Joanne Mattera “Images” on Two Coats of Paint


“Outside Inspiration: Stephen Maine,” Interview with Colin Darke thedetroiter.com http://www.thedetroiter.com/v3/2011/11/outside - inspiration - stephen - maine/