Craig Manister: Recent Paintings

exhibition dates: October 27, 2009 - November 21, 2009

reception: Thursday, October 29, 6 - 8 PM

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Thomas Berding, Lost in Conversion, 2016, oil, acrylic and flashe on canvas, 69” x 62”.jpg

The Painting Center is pleased to host a solo exhibition of recent paintings by Craig Manister. The genesis of Manister’s work is in the tradition of modernist abstraction and still maintains a strong sense of surface and pictorial expansion. Structure within the painting is found during the act of painting and allows the paint its own authority, even as brush strokes describe objects and spaces of the natural world.  Recent paintings use landscape to contextualize abstract forms. The forms, based on the keyhole, act as surrogates for the human figure. Fueled by early study at the NY Studio School, private study with Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof, and more recent travel to Europe, Craig Manister is a painter involved with a discourse with the canon of art history. In an essay for the exhibition catalog John Goodrich writes “Particularly refreshing is his implicit regard for the masters, whose echoes appear here not as social tendencies or stylistic tics, but as personal formal investigations. In this sense his intimate vistas, so unconventionally populated, are indeed peepholes onto traditions of painting.”

For more than a decade, the work created by this discourse has been supported by consecutive PSC-CUNY Research Awards for creative projects in painting.  His work has been shown at the National Academy Museum, Beijing Art Institute, Mei Shu Guan Art Museum, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, NY Studio School, Staten Island Museum, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Neilsen Gallery, The Painting Center, Ober Gallery, Sideshow Gallery, Farleigh Dickinson University, Wagner College, and Queensborough Community College Gallery.

He was included in After the Fall: A Survey of Abstract Painting Since 1970, curated by Lily Wei, at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in 1996. Craig Manister teaches studio painting and art history at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York. In addition, he serves as Director of the Gallery of the College of Staten Island. Manister established and heads the Summer Studio Program at Art Lab, the Art School at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, a rigorous program in traditional drawing and painting methods that brings together some of the region’s leading contemporary painters as instructors. He was born in New York City and currently lives and maintains a studio on Staten Island. He earned a BS degree at Richmond College and completed an MFA degree later at Brooklyn College.