ABOUT STEVEN NAIFEH

 

For over a thousand years, artists from Moorish Spain to Northern India have used geometric art to represent universal harmony.

It all begins with a circle. By dividing the circumference of any circle into three, four, or five equal parts, or their multiples, an artist can generate polygons of infinite shape and variety. Repeated systematically across a surface, these essential geometric units create not only a marvelous wealth of patterns but also a worldly reflection of the order of creation.

Steven Naifeh’s large works find their influence within this grand heritage from the past millennium, while deftly integrating the glorious tradition of Geometric Abstraction in the United States and Europe from the past century, from Kazimir Malevich to Frank Stella.

Drawing on a unique artistic biography, Naifeh has created a captivating body of work that is both physically imposing and intricately wrought. The pieces featured here are representative examples of the power and grace of Naifeh's art, as seen in major public installations and museum collections around the globe.

The son of career U.S. diplomats, Naifeh grew up exploring and absorbing the world around him, including its many mesmerizing artistic cultures. His remarkable childhood served as a platform for artistic expeditions across the United States, the Middle East, and Africa. Altogether, by the age of thirty, Naifeh had lived not only in the United States but in Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Oman, the U.A.E., Pakistan, and Nigeria.

Propelled by these experiences, Naifeh returned to the U.S. to pursue his higher education in art history. During his undergraduate studies at Princeton and his graduate research at Harvard, Naifeh's purview expanded beyond the ancient abstract works of his childhood to include the formal academies of industrialized Europe. With a research focus on Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Western European and American art, Naifeh broadened his understanding of the spectrum of material culture created through the ages.

Naifeh's artistic imagination has been the driving force not only of his life as an artist but also of his career as an accomplished writer. His biography Jackson Pollock: An American Saga (written with Gregory White Smith) won the Pulitzer Prize and was the basis for an Oscar-winning film. His most recent work, Van Gogh: The Life (also with Smith), was praised as “the definitive work” on the artist by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

As an artist and author, Naifeh has been profiled in many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Harvard Magazine, and the International Herald Tribune. He has had solo public exhibitions in major museums and cultural centers in the United States, Turkey, Pakistan, Nigeria, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates. After an early life spent traveling the world, for the past thirty years he has made his primary home in South Carolina.

 

 

EXHIBITION HISTORY

 

Selected one-man exhibitions

Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut, September 15 - November 6, 2016

Leila Heller Gallery, New York, March 27-April 26, 2014

MANA Contemporary, Jersey City, New Jersey, March 2-August 31, 2014

Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia, South Carolina, May 18-September 1, 2014

Embassy of the United States, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, August, 1975

Princeton University Art Museum, February, 1974

Consulate General of the United States, Karachi, Pakistan, August, 1971

Consulate of the United States, Kaduna, Nigeria, August 8-9, 1969

Consulate of the United States, Kano, Nigeria, August 5-6, 1969

 

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

“4th Annual Juried International Exhibition of Contemporary Islamic Art,” LuminArte Gallery, Dallas, Texas, September 26-October 31, 2015

“Islamic Arts Festival 2014 / Arts & Science,” Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, December 17, 2014-January 17, 2015

“Abu Dhabi Art,” Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates., November 5-8, 2014

Review: Leech, Nick, “Steven Naifeh’s Return to Art,” The National, United Arab Emirates, October 30, 2014

“ArtInternational Istanbul,” Istanbul, Turkey, September 25-September 28, 2014

“Armory Show,” New York, March 6-9, 2014

“Summer Show,” Henri Gallery, Washington, DC, 1974

Art in Embassies Program, Lagos, Nigeria, 1968-1970

“American Artists,” United States Information Services, August 27-30, 1968