To Dream, to Collect


Max Estenger

1963 United States

6 Works exhibited

Represented by


  • About the Artist
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Bibliography

Max Estenger (b.1963) was born in Los Angeles, California and received his M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego. He has been living and working in New York City since 1988. His most recent exhibition was a group of new paintings at Norte Maar in 2017, which came after his mid-career survey at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tucson AZ in 2016 curated by Jocko Weyland. Fully-illustrated catalogues were published on both occasions. His work was recently acquired and exhibited for the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in 2016. For the past three decades, Max Estenger has been developing new possibilities for abstraction. Utilizing a rigorous formal language as the driving force, his painted objects are involved in conversation with art history and the ongoing dialogue with the various parameters of abstract painting—formal, material and ideological. Estenger’s work brings together a visual clarity, integrity and moral dimension with a tough-minded tenacity fusing a serious study of direct experience with aesthetic gratification. Estenger’s minesdisparate materials—raw canvas, stainless steel, clear vinyl and wood panels—to create multi-paneled works. The resulting interplay of surface, structure and color refine certain aspects of his practice while celebrating paint and color as never before in his work. Polarities such as hard/soft, opaque/transparent, painted/unpainted, matte/glossy, inside/outside, actual/virtual, etc. abound and become the content of the work. Like ‘the simple expression of complex thought,’ as the minimalist Donald Judd once said, Estenger takes on not only the compounding history of minimalism and hard-edge abstraction, but also its serialization and ubiquitous past. This is cutting-edge painting for the 21st Century. "I have always thought that abstraction was as epochal as Renaissance illusionism and if that tradition could last 500 years or so, abstraction could yield at least 200 years. We are in abstraction’s second century and I see no reason why interesting, fresh, and inventive work can’t still come from what started in 1912.” –Max Estenger in conversation with Matthew Deleget 2017

Solo exhibitions

2014 “New Paintings," John Molloy Gallery, New York City

1998 “Watching Forever,” Steffany Martz, New York City

1997 “Headquarters,” Steffany Martz, New York City

1995 “OSHA Safety Colors,” Steffany Martz, New York City

Group Exhibitions

2006 “Minimalism,” I-5 Gallery, Los Angeles, Ca. (curated by Mat Gleason)

2001 “Anymore,” Real Art Ways, Hartford, CT (curated by David Borawski)

2000 “Latent,” Limelight Gallery, New York City (curated by Eduardo Casares)

 “Goodbye, Farewell, So Long,” Steffany Martz, New York City

1999 “Firenze Biennale,” Florence, Italy (curated by Frances Nauman)

1998 “Sofa Not Included,” gallery: untitled, Dallas, Texas

1997 “Chelsea,” Steffany Martz, New York City

1996 “The Future Last Forever,” Steffany Martz, New York City

1995 “Other Rooms,” Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York City

 “Pleasant Pebble,” The Work Space, New York City (curated by Mary Jones & Janice Krasnow)

1994 “Group Show,” American Fine Arts Co., New York City

 “Cuban Presences,” Vista Gallery, New York City

 “20th Anniversary Exhibition Part III,” Artist Space, New York City

 “We Destroy the Family,” The Greene Street Project 34.5 Greene Street, New York City

1993 “DI  A  TRIBE,” Tomoko Liguori Gallery, New York City

 “What To Say What Not To Say,” Achim Kubinski Gallery, New York City

 “Art-Quake! Art After Post-Modernism and Other Natural Disasters,” 450 Gallery, New York City

1992 “Behind Bars,” Thread Waxing Space, New York City (curated by Meg O’Rouke)     (catalogue)

 “Pushing Painting,” Stark Gallery, New York City

1991 “After Reinhardt:  The Ecstasy of Denial,” Tomoko Liguori Gallery, New York City


Selected Bibliography

2014 Weyland, Jocko, “Max Estenger Interviewed by Jocko Weyland,” Max Estenger New Paintings

 Exhibition Catalogue, (New York:John Molloy Gallery, 2014) 28 pp.

2008 Finch, Charlie, “The Return of Max Estenger,” artnet, March 20, 2008

2002 Brian-Picard, Claude & Antoine Perrot, La Couleur Importee (Readymade Color),

 (Paris:  POSITIONS& MCA, 2002) p. 69-72.  (photo)

2000 Ferree, Joel, “Artist in Residence,” TIMEOUT NEW YORK, May 4-11, 2000, p. 18-19. (photo)

1998 Mitchell, Charles Dee, “Showing What’s Current, Two Galleries Can Electrify,”

 The Dallas Morning News, December 22, 1998, p. 34, 37.

1998 Morgan, Robert C., “Max Estenger: Watching Forever at Steffany Martz,” Review, Nov. 1, 1998

1997 Fend, Peter, “Max Estenger at Steffany Martz,” artnet, May 21, 1997

1997 Moody, Tom, “New York Reviews,” ARTFORUM, November 1997, p. 117. (photo)

1997 Drolet, Owen, “Flash Art Reviews,” FLASH ART, October 1997, p. 115-116. (photo)

1997 Crane, Darren,  “Max Estenger:  Emerging New York Art Star,” COAGULA,

 Summer 1997  #28, p. 38, 66.

1997 Johnson, Richard, “Godless Art,” NEW YORK POST, April 28, 1997, p. 8.

1995 TIME OUT NEW YORK, “Critics Pick, OSHA Safety Colors,” Nov. 1-8, 1995, p. 26. (photo)

1994 Jacques, Alison, “DI A TRIBE,” FLASH ART, March-April 1994, p. 63. (photo)

1993 Morgan, Robert, C., “The New Endgame,” in After the Deluge:  Essays on Art in the 90s,

 (New York:  Red Bass Publications, 1993) pp. 62-67. (photo)

1993 Crane, Darren, “Art Quake,” COVER, April 1993, p. 17. (photo)

1992 Estenger, Max, “Innovation After Post-Modernism,” TEMA CELESTE, Summer 1992, p. 21. (photo)

1992 Myers, Terry R., “After Reinhardt,” (review) TEMA CELESTE, January-March 1992, pp. 115-116.

1992 Morgan, Robert, C., “The New Endgame,” TEMA CELESTE, January-March 1992, pp. 65-69. (photo)

1992 O’Rourke, Meg, “Behind Bars,” in Behind Bars, exhibition catalogue,

 (New York:  Thread Waxing Space (1992) pp. 2-32. (photo)

1991 Faust, Gretchen, “New York in Review,” ARTS MAGAZINE, December 1991, pp. 84-85.

1991 FLASH ART, New York Galleries, November-December 1991, p. 153. (photo)

1991 Estenger, Max, “After Reinhardt,” in After Reinhardt:  The Ecstasy of Denial, exhibition catalogue,

 (New York:  Tomoko Liguori Gallery, 1991) pp. 3-8.

1991 Estenger, Max, “John Baldessari,” written by Max Estenger, PCN, May-June 1991, pp. 69-70.

1991 Estenger, Max & O’Rourke, Meg, “Alan Charlton,” ARTS MAGAZINE, April 1991, p. 74

Works by Max Estenger

Order by


60.9 x 60.9 x 2 cm

5800,00 €


60.9 x 40.6 x 2 cm

6000,00 €


91.4 x 152.4 x 2 cm

11500,00 €


205.7 x 91.4 x 2 cm

14000,00 €


123.2 x 365.7 x 2 cm

8500,00 €


91.5 x 182.9 x 2 cm

15000,00 €


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