John Yau’s review of ‘Steve Keister: Post Columbia: New Ceramic Reliefs and Fiberglass Sculpture from the 1980s’ at Mitchell Algus Gallery.
Many people cannot wrap their head around the fact that Steve Keister’s sculptures can be divided into two groups that appear to have nothing to do with each other. This would be less of a problem if we begin with the understanding that Keister has been an outlier since the beginning of his career in the late 1970s, and that his unwillingness to fit in, no matter what the reception was to his work, made him a unique, curious, idiosyncratic, baffling, and challenging artist.
The first thing that made Keister an outlier is the siting of his sculpture, which you didn’t back into (in Barnett Newman’s phrase), but bumped your head against. At least that is what I did one evening, when I stood up from the kitchen table of the legendary collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel, and smacked my head against one of the suspended, angular sculptures that Keister began exhibiting in the late 1970s, which he wittily called USOs (Unidentified Suspended Objects). Herb and Dorothy were not all that tall, and so for them this was never problem… Read Full Review.
On view at Mitchell Algus Gallery (132 Delancey Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan), April 1 – May 7, 2017.
Reprinted from HYPERALLERGIC.