Art Historians, Curators, and Critics Donald Kuspit, Anthony Haden-Guest, and Bruce Helander form a panel to discuss and review the abstract expressionist Art by J. Steven Manolis, exhibited at the Coral Springs Museum of Art.


Critical Acclaim:

Collectors, Artists, Critics and friends share their thoughts on the artwork of J. Steven Manolis gathered and shared here in this pdf excerpt from Manolis' book "Painting Vermillion Red II" celebrating his solo museum exhibition at the John A. Day Art Gallery at the Warren M. Lee Center For The Fine Arts at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD.


Highlighted Quotes from Critics and Writers:

When it comes to Color, and the intellectual pursuit of ‘Communicating Through Color,’ Wassily Kandinsky’s long-awaited heir-to-be is J. Steven Manolis, whose works signal an ebullient 21st century renaissance of the long absent glories of Abstract Expressionism.
— Donald Kuspit, Leading Art Critic
When we met, Steven explained to me that his purpose as an artist was to evoke beauty, happiness and emotions through his art. His Constructions—the installation of multiple canvases as one large scale work of art—explore in one or more colors the artist’s interest in eliciting an emotional response in the viewer. The resultant monumental paintings are a triumph!

— Mary Bower, Museum Executive Director, The Evansville Museum 

When you first encounter a monumental Manolis work, you realize that you are observing something particularly rare in magnitude and dimension that takes a master artist to paint successfully as an engaging picture and also to visually make sense from a distance.

— Bruce Helander, Leading Art Critic

A trajectory of Manolis’ current work reveals that the artist has scrupulously mastered and applied both the techniques and chromatic relations identified with celebrated artists………. besides Jackson Pollock, we find elements of Frankenthaler, Lee Krasner, Dubuffet, Adolph Gottlieb and Clyfford Still. As Manolis’ work chooses and dominates so many of the signature methods of his forbearers it is still remarkable that the artist elicits a dynamic depth that we associate with Hans Hofmann.

— Drew Hammond, Leading Art Critic

The splendid art of J. Steven Manolis is exactly that. Each and every piece generates an energy that is at once explosively physical and evidence of a sharp mind at work. Like the birth of a world.
— Anthony Haden-Guest, Leading Art Critic
Indeed, Manolis’ color-saturated abstractions breathe fresh life–fresh feeling–into abstract expressionism... He’s a modern master...
— Donald Kuspit, Leading Art Critic
J. Steven Manolis’ lyrical yet powerful and passionate painting is a rhapsody; it’s not a rhapsody in blue as Gershwin would have it, but a rhapsody in maroon, with hints of burgundy, violet, oxblood, crimson and yes, a minute but intriguing Josef Albers-derived single square of periwinkle blue. Although Manolis paints in a myriad of hues, I associate the American abstract expressionist most closely with the color red, a sort of talisman for the artist.
— Elizabeth Sobieski, Leading Art Critic
All the Redworld paintings are depictions of Manolis’ inner life—symbolic self-portraits, in which the internal objects that inhabit his psyche and compose his self are represented in abstract form. His Self-Portrait confirms my interpretation: it is a group portrait, that is, a communal collective of his internalized family, and as such a portrait of his deepest self. The geometrical signifiers dominate the paintings; the red color field becomes their atmospheric backdrop, perhaps an abstract version of what in sacred art is called a “field of honor.” It confirms that the paintings are visionary, and suggests that the members of his large family—Manolis needs to make large paintings to contain them all, to contain his complex, dare I say contradictory, feelings for them—are sacred to him, and that in some uncanny way, the Redworld they inhabit is heaven.
— Donald, Kuspit, Leading Art Critic
J. Steven Manolis, following in the path of his teacher, the great colorist Wolf Kahn, uses color ebulliently and expressively in his abstract compositions. Small paintings spur his imagination and initiate his large-scale watercolor and acrylic paintings. Manolis’ work evokes the spirit of nature and a life in which color matters.
— Annette Blaugrund, PHD, Independent Curator, Former Director of the National Academy Museum
We shouldn’t need the Warhol quote to remind us that Bohemia, for all its seductive folklore, is not the only livable workspace in the art world, nor that the art-making brain and deal-making brain may sometimes coexist within the same skill. The J. Steven Manolis story adds a dimension to this narrative. An artist with a business head? No surprise. An artist who creates a radical business model? Surprise.
— Anthony Haden-Guest, Leading Art Critic
When I first discovered the abstract expressionist work of Miami-based painter J. Steven Manolis several years ago, I immediately saw in his art a special gift that seemed to enhance all his other attributes for attaining serious recognition and monetary success. It seems that everything positive is happening to Manolis, as his fast-paced profession skyrockets with accolades and prestigious exhibitions, gaining the thrust, inertia and power that correlates to a rocket ship taking off...
— Bruce Helander, Leading Art Critic
Manolis invites us to immerse ourselves in living nature and vibrant color – passionately perceive them, submit to them, as he does… Manolis is libidinously invested in color, that is, his art bespeaks the pleasure principle, which as Freud said, functions ‘to reduce psychic tension that has arisen from drives pressing for discharge’… Black is another color, as Matisse said, and Manolis’s mastery of black confirms that he is a modern master, more particularly, a modernisty, as his masterful responsiveness to his medium indicates, and with that an abstract expressionist… Indeed, Manolis’s color saturated abstractions breathe fresh life – fresh feeling – into abstract expressionism… They are as forceful as – and less forced than – the embittered gestures of the New York abstract expressionists – indeed, more naturally forceful because they are informed by nature’s spontaneous force rather than human suffering. Manolis’s Miami abstract expressionism is a welcome relief from New York abstract expressionism, and just as authentic.
— Donald Kuspit, Leading Art Critic
J. Steven Manolis is one of the foremost practitioners of Abstract Expressionist today, his brilliant brushstrokes as bewitching as those of AbEx forefather Clyfford Still (originally from North Dakota). Manolis’ REDWORLD is a display of passion, productivity and powerful Technique.
— Elizabeth Sobieski, Leading Art Critic
Manolis shares a common DNA with other successful artists who have achieved great success and recognition and whose works have become valuable, and now are openly traded as investments. I once asked Robert Rauschenberg what was the secret of his success as an artist? He replied that there was no secret. An artist must have a deep inherent natural talent and work like crazy seven days a week. Manolis works eight.
— Bruce Helander, Leading Art Critic
His work creates a unique experience for the viewer. Each painting is an interaction between the viewers’ conscious and unconscious mind with Manolis,’ as interpreted through the viewers own particular lens. These universal symbols, according to Jung, are recognized by everyone’s unconscious mind.
— Myrthia Moore