• Mobility of Frames E6
    • Oil on Canvas
    • 50"x50"
    • SOLD
    • Drift E5
    • Oil on Canvas
    • 49"x49"
    • Landscape with Daisy Chair E1
    • Oil on Canvas
    • 49"x49"
    • Drift E6
    • Oil on Canvas
    • 49"x49"
    • Drift E7
    • Oil on Canvas
    • 49"x49"
    • Oil with Daisy Chain D1
    • Oil on Mylar
    • 24"x24"
    • Drift D28
    • Oil on Mylar
    • 24"x24"
    • Drift D30
    • Oil on Mylar
    • 24"x24"
    • A Whole New Distance A2
    • Oil on Mylar
    • 14"x14"
    • A Whole New Distance A5
    • Oil on Mylar
    • 14"x14"

Artist Statement

Each work is a separate response to a unique and largely overlooked type of landscape that is emerging along America’s metropolitan fringes. These pockets of former fields and forests are rapidly transforming into constellations of massive horizontal buildings known as “distribution” or “fulfillment” centers.” This is a thoroughly new kind of liminal space, re-tooled solely to facilitate the rapid, frictionless flow of commodities to and from practically anywhere—high performing, expertly engineered, leveled, paved and interconnected by ever expanding networks of highways and communication systems: the smoothest and fastest space possible.

I have always been sensitive to my spatial surround. I grew up on various American Indian reservations in the West (my father worked for the U.S. Bureau of India Affairs) where I lived in relatively unpopulated environments from lush forests to the Great Plains. Moving to the Northeast to attend graduate school, my spatial antennae afforded me a unique perspective on radically different kinds of spaces. I was especially fascinated by the rapidly developing tracts of land that lay beyond the urban centers and their contiguous suburbs—what is often referred to as exurbia. I was immediately taken by the spatial disorientation I felt driving the expressways through these areas. So much space and so few points of access. So much mobility yet so constricted and channeled. It was here that I began to observe these remarkable buildings and their thorough transformation of the surrounding countryside. 

The imposing structures that define these spaces—the distribution centers—present to me a perfect geometric vocabulary for visualizing the mostly invisible economic forces that are transforming these regions. As with so much art from the most ancient to the contemporary, my pieces attempt to realize a provisional join between the visible and the invisible, the concrete and the conceptual. Of course space—my leading protagonist—is, technically speaking, invisible as are the abstract economic forces determining our access and experience of contemporary space and place. 

More recently, I have focused more on how I represent space and how almost everything I do is implicated in some act of framing. To state the obvious, my paintings, drawings and videos are implicitly framed—that is, each is isolated from the surrounding space by their (mostly) rectilinear edges. And within these frames I have nested yet more frames, often geometrically modulated to suggest spatial projection.

Yet actual space is never experienced freeze-framed, but rather it is apprehended through physical movement. It is in time that our bodies move through space and in time that the structure of the world is progressively disclosed.

Such is the paradox I take on: the impossibility of representing space and movement in formats thoroughly circumscribed by static frames. So in spite of these formal constraints, I aspire to present frames in flight, frames perpetually incomplete and compositionally unresolved. Ultimately these works are not only a meditation on my experience of space but on the impossibility of capturing time.

Artist Bio

Steven Baris was born in Aberdeen Washington and grew up on various American Indian reservations in Northern California, Montana, and Washington State. He received a B.A. from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington and a MFA from the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. He lives and teaches art in the Philadelphia area. He has exhibited widely throughout North America and Europe; his work is represented in Denver by Space Gallery, in New York by ODETTA Gallery, and in Philadelphia by the Pentimenti Gallery.

Selected Exhibitions

EDUCATION

1985     Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, PA, MFA

1978     The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, BA

1975     Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

 

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018     Solo (as of yet untitled) | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2017     Mobility of Frames | DM Contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2017     The Abstracted Landscape | Pentimenti Gallery at Natuzzi Italia, Philadelphia, PA

2016     Modern Structure| Space Gallery Gallery, Denver, CO

2015     The Smoothest of All Possible Space | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2014     Geometries of Flow | DM Contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2013     Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

2012     Stations of the Cube | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2010     Solo Series | Abington Art Center, Abington, PA

2008     Urban Compression | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2006     The Correct Distance | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2004     Recent Works | Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2003     Jeffrey Coploff Fine Arts, New York, NY

2003     364 Hayes Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2002     Jeffrey Coploff Fine Arts, New York, NY

2001     Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2000     Butters Gallery, Portland, OR

1998     Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1997     University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

1996     Schmidt/Dean Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1992     Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1990     Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1988     Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1986     Grande Masse des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France

1985     Gallerie Taub, Philadelphia, PA

1984     Stonepress Gallery, Seattle, WA

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2018     Grounds for Optimism | Tremenheere Sculptural Gardens, Penzance, UK

2018     Absolute | Boecker Contemporary, Heidelberg, Germany

2017     Structural Integrity | Space Gallery, Denver, CO

2017     The Enduring Reasons Why | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, P

2017     Points of Departure: Meditation on Mapping | Mercer Gallery, Monroe Community College, Rochester, NY

2017     Maniac Episode 5 | Ely Center of Contemporary Art, New Haven, CT

2017     Three Person Exhibition | Mount Airy Contemporary, Philadelphia, PA

2017     Doppler | Transmitter, Brooklyn, NY

2017     Art on Paper (fair) | Pentimenti Gallery, New York, NY

2016     Summer Show| DM Contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2016     Summer Flash | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2016     Drift | Boecker Contemporary, Heidelberg, Germany

2015     Abstract Strategies | Poiesis Spec, Berlin, Germany

2015     Abstract Strategies | Martina Kaiser Cologne Contemporary, Cologne, Germany

2015     Gong Big | Central Booking, New York, NY

2015     Summer Currents | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2014     Then and Now| DM Contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2014     Three Person Exhibition | Spatial Intelligence | Odetta Gallery, Brooklyn, NY

2014     Doppler Shift | Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Summit, NY

2014     Group Exhibition | Galerie Schutte, Dusseldorf, Germany

2013     Maniac Episode 4 | TAS, Groningen, Netherlands

2013     International Biennial of Non Objective Art | Ciliax, France

2013     Repetitive Pattern Phobia | Atelierhof Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany

2013     Three Person Exhibition | Suburbia Revisited | dm contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2013     On the Edge | Cheryl Hazan Contemporary Art, New York, NY

2012     20 in 2012 Vision | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2012     Maniac Episode 3: Hamburg | Kunstlerhaus Dosenfabrik, Hamburg, Germany

2012     Doppler Stop, Traveling Exhibition | Amsterdam, Berlin, Zagreb

2012     The Summer Show | dm contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2012     Lush Geometry | dm contemporary NYC, New York, NY

2012     Elemental | Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

2011     Aqua Art Fair | Miami, FL, represented by Pentimenti Gallery

2011     Maniac: Manic Episode | Brickhouse Art Gallery, Sacramento, CA

2011     Countune International Internet Social Art Project | developed and curated by Gerd Jansen, Germany

2011     Tyler Alumni Series, Robert Storr, curator | Crane Arts Building, Ice Box Project Space, Philadelphia, PA

2010     William Penn Foundation, Philadelphia, PA

2010     Spectrum | Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts, Wilmington, DE

2009     Garish | Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, MA

2008     Aqua Wynwood | Art Basel | Miami, FL, represented by Pentimenti Gallery

2007     Victory for Tyler: Painting 2007 | Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA

2007     Three Person Exhibition | Rice/Polak Gallery, Provincetown, MA

2006     Stripes Checks Balances | Michael Gibson Gallery, London, ON

2006     Takeout | Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

2006     Bridge Art Fair | Miami, FL, represented by Pentimenti Gallery

2006     ART212 Art Fair | New York, NY, represented by Pentimenti Gallery

2006     Order(ed) | Gallery Siano, Philadelphia, PA

2006     Contour: The Definitive Line | Schedlar/Minchin Fine Art, Birmingham, AL

2005     AAF Contemporary Art Fair | New York, NY, represented by Pentimenti Gallery and Jeffrey Coploff

2005     Criss Cross | Art Forum Ute Barth, Zurich, Switzerland

2004     Selections | Levy Gallery, Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

2003     More | Mpercent Gallery, Cleveland, OH

2003     From That To This: Artists’ Inspirations, curated by Julie Courtney | Nexus, Philadelphia, PA

2002     Pure | Philadelphia Museum of Jewish Art, Philadelphia, PA

2002     Bold | Jeffrey Coploff Fine Arts, New York, NY

2000     Group Exhibition | BGH Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2000     Three Person Exhibition | Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY

1999     Selections | Jeffrey Coploff Fine Arts, New York, NY

1998     Small | Jeffrey Coploff Fine Arts, New York, NY

1998     Group Exhibition | Margaret Thatcher Projects, New York, NY

1997     Strategies in Abstraction | Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

1997     An Extended View: Landscapes by Philadelphia Artists | Moore College of Art, Philadelphia, PA

1996     2 Up | Philadelphia Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA

1994     Drawing 94: Explorations | Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA

1994     Group Exhibition | Paul Cava Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

1989     Currents in Abstraction | Long Island University, New York, NY

1998     Perspectives From Pennsylvania  | Carnegie Mellon University Art Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA

1988     The Drawing Show: Artists Who Have Exhibited at The Drawing Center In New York | Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA

1986     Selections 33 | The Drawing Center, New York, NY

1984     Four Person Exhibition | Galleria Temple, Rome, Italy

 

SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Canon USA Inc., New York, NY

Capitol One, Wilmington, DE

Coventry First Insurance Company, Fort Washington, PA

The Glenmede Trust Company, Philadelphia, PA

Hay Group, Philadelphia, PA

Polsinelle Shughart Pc., Wilmington, DE

Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Philadelphia, PA

Liberty Properties, Philadelphia, PA

Progressive Insurance Company, Cleveland, OH

Prudential Insurance Company, Newark, NJ

Rosenbluth Travel, Inc., Philadelphia, PA

Statoil, Houston, TX

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Thomas Properties, Philadelphia, PA

Wilmington Trust, New York, NY

Work included in numerous private collections in North America, Europe and Australia

 

Awards

SELECTED GRANTS + AWARDS

2013     Pollock-Krasner Grant, Pollock-Krasner Foundation

2008     Bertha C. Arnold Smith Trustees Award

2006     Agnes + Sophie Dallas Irwin Memorial Fund, Travel Grant

1997     PEW Fellowships in the Arts, Finalist

1995     Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Artist’s Fellowship

1983     Purchase Prize: Outstanding Merit, Colorprint USA, Texas Tech University

 

 

Publications

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY

Michael K. Corbin, ArtBookGuy.com, (interview), http://artbookguy.com/steven-baris-geometric-projections_1132.html

Richard Benari, Backstory: Steven Baris, Tilted Arc, December 7, 2013

Edith Newhall, Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, October 25, 2013

Maniac: Manic Episode 2, Catalogue Essay by Thyrza Nichols Goodeve, Spring 2011

Victoria Donohoe, Wilmington Wonder, Part 1, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 23, 2010

Libby Rosof, The Art Blog, November 11, 2008

Anne R. Fabri, Broad Street Review, November, 22, 2008

Victoria Donohoe, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 21, 2008

Edith Newhall, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, May, 2006

Libby Rosof, The Art Blog, May 5, 2006

Home & Design, Editor’s Pick, Philadelphia Inquirer, May, 2006

R.B. Strauss, First Friday Focus, AroundPhilly.com, May 19, 2006

Libby Rosof, Order(ed), The Art Blog, May 5, 2006

Krystyna Warchol, Who’s On First (Friday), Key to Philadelphia, May 1-14, 2006

Roberta Fallon, Young at Art, Philadelphia Weekly, June 30, 2004

Roberta Fallon, Sketches, Philadelphia Weekly, April 21, 2004

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, April 23, 2004

Celeste Starita, This Week in the Arts, Center City’s Weekly Press, May 5, 2004

Frank Smigiel, Catalogue Essay: Exhibition at Jeffrey Coploff Fine Art, New York, NY, 2003

Lily Faust, The New York Art World, February, 2002

Abstract Art Online, Gallery Views/Chelsea, January 26, 2002

Roberta Fallon, Sketches, Philadelphia Weekly, January 2, 2002

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, June 21, 2002

Gerard Brown, You Have to Be There, Philadelphia Weekly, May 26, 1999

New American Paintings #2, Open Studio’s Press, Spring 1999

Robin Rice, The Sun’ll Cross 17th Street Tomorrow, Philadelphia City Paper, July 9-16, 1998

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 2, 1998

Jeanne Nugent, Room for a View, Philadelphia Weekly, June 4, 1997

Robin Rice, Familiar Territory, Philadelphia City Paper, July 17, 1997

Ruth Latter, Language of Color Stretches from Rome to the Reservation,
The Daily Progress, Charlottesville, VA, March 20, 1997

Bill Scott, Review of Exhibitions, Art in America, September, 1996

Rita Rosen, Sketches: The Art World, The Jewish Exponent, Philadelphia, January 18, 1996

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 9, 1996

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, November 27, 1992

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 14, 1988

Edward J. Sozanski, On Galleries, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 2, 1986

Colorprint USA, catalogue, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, 1983