The art of Steven Orner is akin to a tale, portraying different aspects of an imaginary American Suburb. For several years, the artist explores the idea of utopia and its opposed concept: dystopia. Figurative, his artworks are structured as interrupted stories/legends, where forms and fragments are often presented as a montage. Inspired by the American « Suburbs », Orner draws a portrait, sometimes disturbing, of these residential suburbs that represent within the collective imaginary the pursuit of futile perfection. Appearances are, from time to time, misleading within this work, and they reveal to the attentive viewer amazing and unexpected details, mixing the comfortable reality of a residential area with science fiction.
His most recent paintings offer a series of fragments derived from modern popular imagery of the American Culture of the Fifties and Sixties; caricatures, landscapes and architectural elements, are removed from their context and integrated in a holdover universe. Textures and tones are mixed in transparency, with watered down or even highly-saturated colors, and they reveal an art that holds historic and contemporary characteristics, simultaneously. Sometimes, the artist portrays himself in his work. In doing so, he allows us to accede to this new and intriguing reality.
Poetic and symbolic, the nature of the sites and objects are constantly transformed in Orner’s art, offering to the viewer an eccentric universe where illusion, critique of modern and contemporary society, poetry and fiction are questioned with a touch of humour and mystery.
Steven Orner was born in the United States but has lived in Montréal for over 20 years. He has a Bachelor of Arts from The Maryland Institute College of Art and he holds a Master in painting and printmaking from the renowned Yale University School of Art, in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. For many years, Orner has dedicated himself to his pictorial practice. He has been the subject of numerous solo as well as group exhibitions, in diverse surroundings: the Galerie d’Art d’Outremont (2019), the Musée des beaux-arts du Mont-Saint-Hilaire (2010); as well as in the United States, Paris, Berlin. Acknowledged recipient from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, in 2008, and also from The Canadian Council for the Arts, in 2009 and 2012, his artworks are part of public and private collections, in Montréal and New York. He also was honored with other prizes, in particular the prestigious Schoelkoptf Travelling Fellowship Prize from Yale University.
CLIQUEZ ICI/CLICK HERE (79 downloads) to download the visual pamphlet for the exhibition “MÉMOIRE ET DÉSIRS”.