Steven MacIver: Spaceman
September 6 – October 2, 2012 Opening reception September 6, 6 – 8 pm
Dillon Gallery is pleased to announce “Spaceman,” our first solo exhibition of Scottish artist Steven MacIver. This exhibition will present MacIver’s cross-disciplinary works that integrate a multiplicity of mediums: drawing, painting, sculpture, printmaking, mixed media, and installation. Steven MacIver was born in the Orkney Islands and completed his BA in Fine Arts at Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen and his MFA at the Slade School of Art. Following his graduation in 2004, MacIver was awarded the Sainsbury Scholarship in Painting and Sculpture at the British School at Rome. Amongst the many awards and grants this gifted young artist has already received, the Rome Prize immediately placed him as one of the leading young artists from Britain.
Steven MacIver’s work derives from the notion that drawing provides a means for immediate expression of an idea that may otherwise be lost. Barnett Newman once noted that drawing is the most direct and unmediated method of capturing the creative process. Paleolithic cave drawings testify to human being’s desire to represent the world in pictorial form. It is from this that all other art forms descend. Though the drawn line is often regarded as a means of transition towards an end product, MacIver believes that drawing should be viewed as a language, with all the subtleties and idiosyncrasies of meaning, structure and syntax. His research and practice focuses on developing the linguistics of drawing: its role in the mediation of communication between the artist and the viewer, evoking real, remembered and imagined environments.
MacIver’s work developes these concepts through the investigation of drawing and mark-making, exploring the diversity of methods through which line may be made. He calls his artistic method a type of “excavation” because he uses a scalpel to remove paint in a reductive method from the canvas. The result is a structured surface that is both glossy and flat: a type of interplay between drawing and painting. Hi current series, made of multitudes of intersecting lines, employ this method with the addition of LED back light underneath his calico/canvas surfaces.
He further investigated the production of line through a variety of mediums, including sculpture, installation and collage. Works such as Illumination I and II as well as his installation, Nexus are results of this investigation. MacIver’s study in Rome gave him the opportunity to integrate the interplay between line and place – investigating the drawing and how it reacts to, as well as can demonstrate environment. This can be seen in his renderings of stadiums and coliseums, such as Maracana and In With the New. He uses these abstracted architectural studies to deeply explore how space is used and contained.