Stephen Westfall’s (American, b. 1953) paintings have charted a course between post-minimalist geometries and a Pop inflected awareness of a painting as a thing in the world. The brightly colored diamonds, triangles and trapezoids in his most recent canvases are conjoined into dynamic compositional skeins that seem to lean into space rather than recede. Drawing on Caucasian and Navajo rugs, medieval heraldry, Byzantine floor tile, early twentieth century abstraction, architecture and Pop, Minimalist and post-Minimalist painting, Westfall’s abstraction is deeply acculturated while formally honed into an active, perceptual immediacy.
Westfall received his MFA in 1978 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. His first solo exhibition in 1984 at Tracey Garet in New York’s East Village earned reviews that took note of his particular brand of geometric abstraction. Exhibitions followed during the 1980s and into the 1990s at Daniel Newburg Gallery in New York, Galerie Paal in Munich, Germany and Galerie Wilma Lock in St. Gallen, Switzerland. An exhibition of paintings took place at Andre Emmerich Gallery in New York in 1995, followed by several exhibitions at Galerie Zurcher in Paris. Recent work has been exhibited at Kunstgalerie Bonn in Germany and David Richard Gallery in Santa Fe.
Westfall is a professor at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. He is a contributing editor at Art in America.