J. Steven Manolis (b.1948 -)
Palm Beach Formal, 2018
Acrylic on canvas
72 x 60 inches
This tropical abstractions from J. Steven Manolis seeks to capture the element of formality that is a part of old Palm Beach.
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. Concentrics have a long human history symbolizing positive spirituality.
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 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."
Manolis’ Miami abstract expressionism is a welcome relief from New York abstract expressionism, and just as authentic. That is, the happy self or happy consciousness that informs Manolis’ art is just as “true” as the miserable self or unhappy consciousness… But, the contemporary question is whether we prefer the self-destructive despair of the Age of Anxiety…or whether it’s time to welcome a more emotionally constructive, delightful kind of abstract expressionism.
— Donald Kuspit, Renowned Art Critic