J. Steven Manolis (b.1948-)
Black Concentric, 2020
Acrylic and Latex Enamel on canvas
30 x 30 inches
Manolis' painting hero, and Father of Abstract Expressionism, Wassily Kandinsky was a concentric painter. He introduced the open loop, which to him symbolized both the universe and the human soul. Manolis states, "Concentrics also have a long human history symbolizing positive spirituality which enormously appeals to me."
Additionally, Manolis ascribes these other meanings to concentric circles: "1) Social Focus and 2) elimination of discrimination of all types- racial, religious, gender, sexual, cultural and and all other stereotypes. When you consider that perhaps as many as 90% of all human killings that occur on earth come about from the hate related to discrimination."
Kenneth Noland is considered the premier American concentric painter. Interestingly, he utilized stencils and spray paint. Alternatively Manolis hand draws (with a compass) and hand paint his concentric circles. "I love the look and feel, and tiny imperfections created by the hand.”
Manolis, is an American abstract expressionist artist who paints in both watercolors and acrylics on canvas. He studied for 30 years under the tutelage of world renown colorist and former student of Hans Hofman, Wolf Kahn (1927-2020).
Donald Kuspit, a leading art critic, would go on to write about Manolis, "When it comes to Color, and the intellectual pursuit of ‘Communicating Through Color,’ Wassily Kandinsky’s long-awaited heir-to-be is J. Steven Manolis, whose works signal an ebullient 21st-century renaissance of the long-absent glories of Abstract Expressionism.”