Rubber sealant on canvas
2016.1.1 & 2
When I first saw this piece, I wondered what paint technique had made such a fascinating texture and pattern. It turns out that the black caverns and shadows were made by wrinkling the canvas and spraying not black paint but rubber sealant, like the kind someone would use to prevent leaks on a roof, at an angle and letting it accumulate. This experiment created, in Brennen’s words, “a topographical form; something reminiscent of a mountainous terrain or discarded piece of paper.” It certainly evokes a mountainous, moon-like, or planet-like surface that feels thick enough to be three-dimensional but fragile enough to be crumpled up at a moment’s notice.
This piece was purchased from the 2016 Juried Show. It was awarded Best in Show. It currently hangs in the Fireside Hallway of the Union.
Brennen Steines is a painter and UWM alumnus who received his BFA in 2018. He is currently in Yale School of Art’s MFA program and will graduate in 2022. He also has some ties to the UAG having worked here during his time at UWM. You can see more of his work at http://brennensteines.com/ or on Instagram @brennensteines. He currently has a show up at the Alice Wilds Gallery titled Vestiges, which will be up until September 12, 2020. http://www.thealicewilds.com/current/
Visual Description: A diptych that meets up somewhat in the middle. The main asymmetric expanse resembles a mountainous or lunar surface. It is primarily a beige-cream color on a black background but also has some paper–white swathes of color on the left-hand corner and through the middle of the piece that seem to slightly obscure the surface below. Black crags and shadows fill out the beige and white portions, which work to create what look like caverns, mountain peaks, and craters.