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Two Musicians, Central Park
Maxwell Stevens

Two Musicians, Central Park



Title: Two Musicians, Central Park
Year: 2019
Size: 160x130 cm
Technique: oil on canvas

This oil painting presents two musicians from an impromptu ensemble performing at Central Park’s famous Bethesda Fountain, and is featured in the “Autumn Leaves, New Paintings” series. The detailed rendering has been superposed with fluid lines and flowing brushstrokes of gestural abstraction, reminiscent of movements within the classical music being performed, and of the surrounding landscape of the park itself.
Interrelationships between painting, music, and the seasons have long drawn associations in world culture and art. Abstract painting in particular has had numerous comparisons made to music since Kandinsky’s groundbreaking “Improvisations” and “Compositions” series, and alternately, various musicians such as Vivaldi have created their own compositions based upon the seasons, while inspired by the landscapes of Marco Ricci. By combining emotive abstractions with representational clarity, Maxwell Stevens delves inside these relationships and makes them explicit. In rhythmic compositions of pastoral greens and lemon yellows, vivid smears and gestures overtake the meticulously rendered portraits of the musicians themselves, with images alternating between the spatial depths of the crisp autumn park scenes, and the fluid, glassy designs of pure abstract form.

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