Craig Manister: Slow Looking
The Painting Center is pleased to show new work by Craig Manister. Manister’s path, from his early work as an abstractionist and former student of Pat Passlof and Milton Resnick, was enhanced by extensive European travel to see many seminal paintings in person, and developed in stages toward making paintings of things in the real world. The new paintings continue to exploit issues raised while teaching a class in still life painting in order to find resolutions to the problems students were finding themselves in with their paintings. The work is perceptual in approach, hence the subtitle of the exhibition Slow Looking. Manister tells students that while we can see well enough to pass down the hallways without walking into the walls, that in itself does not constitute the kind of seeing necessary for painting. A successful painting is like alchemy, as it filters perceptual phenomena with classical formal qualities, art historical precedents and a truce of opposites, to find an unexpected pictorial solution of opposing forces. When a painting finds itself it’s magical. It becomes a marriage of disparate qualities to form a unity that is beautiful but pictorially coherent.
Among the places Manister has shown work are the National Academy Museum, Beijing Art Institute, Mei Shu Guan Art Museum, Elizabeth Harris Gallery, New York Studio School, Staten Island Museum, Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art, Neilsen Gallery, Farleigh Dickinson University, Wagner College, Ober Gallery, and the Gallery of the College of Staten Island/CUNY. He was included in After the Fall; A Survey of Abstract Painting Since 1970, curated by Lily Wei, at the Newhouse Center for Contemporary Art in 1996. The current exhibition is the fourth time Manister has shown a body of work at The Painting Center.
Manister was born in New York City and currently lives and maintains a studio on Staten Island. He earned a BS degree at Richmond College/CUNY and then spent two years at the New York Studio School. He completed an MFA degree later at Brooklyn College/CUNY. He teaches studio painting at the College of Staten Island/CUNY.