Incorporating dripping paint within repetitive strokes and pattern-like forms, Steven Cushner creates works both gestural and concrete. Playing with abstraction and representation, he presents various imagery inspired by everyday sights. Fan-like, bulbous, or open-ended shapes vibrate with intensity as their thickly painted bands emerge from watery backgrounds. Deep, earth-toned color intersects with fluid lines to shape meditative, sinuous patterns. The dynamic compositions further this organic energy, almost mimicking nature with their cyclical, ordered quality. Loosely rendered forms and splashy backgrounds allow for open interpretation of Cushner’s imagery. Whether the viewer correlates branches, signs, birds, or incomprehensible abstractions, the paintings all emanate an electric energy, a quirkiness separate from living things…perhaps conveying the root of Cushner’s passions and spontaneity.
Cushner was born in Cleveland, and later moved to receive his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Maryland and Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design (1980, 1976). He currently lives in Washington, DC, where he teaches at George Mason University and previously taught at the Corcoran School of Art. He is the recipient of two Visual Artist Fellowships from the DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, and the Distinguished Alumni award from University of Maryland.