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Stephen Cushner's PAINTINGS in the Galleries, 3/15-4/7

February 23, 2004
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"CUSHNER DEMONSTRATES THAT ABSTRACT PAINTING
IS NOT DEAD OR EVEN OUTDATED"*
Paintings by Stephen Cushner opens March 15 at George Mason University’s
Johnson Center and Fine Arts Galleries


Fairfax, Virginia, February 23, 2004—His work seems deceptively simple. Yet viewers come away with a new regard for the artist’s ample investment in each canvas – investments brought to fruition in works called, "strong, lyrical, rhythmic," and "enigmatic" (The Washington Post and Art News, respectively). Stephen Cushner, who received a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1976 and an M.F.A. from the University of Maryland in 1980, has work in the collections of The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; and The Washington Post. He teaches at Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C. (since 1987); American University, Washington, D.C. (since 1995) and Vermont College, Montpelier (since 1995). In his exhibit of Paintings at George Mason University’s Johnson Center and Fine Arts Galleries, March 15 through April 7, the artist’s trademark use of central geometric shapes and monochromatic creations, share the spotlight with works using a different style and color. An artist’s talk begins at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17, in the Fine Arts Gallery, followed by a reception at 5:30 p.m. in the Johnson Center Gallery.

Steven Cushner has achieved national recognition as an important contemporary artist. His paintings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout the United States. He has received many honors for his work, including an Artist 's Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He shows regularly at Hemphill Fine Arts, in Washington, DC, and Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA. Both his large paintings and smaller watercolors display equal amounts of immediacy and depth of experience.

The Washington CityPaper comments, "His great success is in evoking the immediate sensations that drive his process while simultaneously evoking the mediation of those sensations by art and memory." And, says Cushner, "I wanted to explore how to capture real things that exist in real space…to give the paintings a sculptural feel, like you could walk into them." Indeed, as Art News observed, his work is "grounded in the real world."

# # #

The Galleries are all located on Mason’s Fairfax campus. The Johnson Center Gallery is located on the main level of the George W. Johnson Center in the heart of the campus. The Fine Arts Gallery is located on the ground floor of the Fine Arts Building in room B104. The Mason Hall Atrium Gallery is on the ground floor of Mason Hall on Mason Pond Drive. Galleries are open Mon. through Thurs., from 9 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Fridays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., unless otherwise noted, and by appointment. The Concert Hall Gallery is open Tuesday – Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Gallery Program is a division of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, home to the Center for the Arts. The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies, and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater, and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.



*Richmond Style Weekly