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Charles Steckler
updated: 02/26/2013
website: www.charlessteckler.com
 
   
 
 
     
 
Artwork Title
art-medium
art-year
dimensions
Click thumbnails for full view:
 
Hanukah Begins at Sundown (detail)
Erstwhile Figure
Intuitive
Scattershot
Acumulus
Efflorescent
Formation
Providential
Etude
Bzzzzt
Aggregate
Agglomerate
Globoid
Bolus
Orbital
 
Portfolio Keywords:  dreams, fantasy, autobiographical, surreal, architecture, craft, conceptual, landscape, collage, childhood
 
 
Hanukah Begins at Sundown (detail) by Charles Steckler
Hanukah Begins at Sundown (detail)
Ink, ballpoint, white-out, graphite, collage on desk calendar
2008
17"" x  22"" 
Erstwhile Figure by Charles Steckler
Erstwhile Figure
ink and graphite over xeroxed drawing, punctures
2004
8.5"" x  5.5"" 
Intuitive by Charles Steckler
Intuitive
Blue uni-ball pen, pencil
2007
3.5"" x  5.5"" 
Scattershot by Charles Steckler
Scattershot
ink, graphite, ballpoint, color and China markers, cut, creased and collaged elements
2008
6"" x  9"" 
Acumulus by Charles Steckler
Acumulus
Rollerball pen, graphite
2009
8.5 " x  9 " 
Efflorescent by Charles Steckler
Efflorescent
Uni-ball pen, graphite
2008
9"" x  9"" 
Formation by Charles Steckler
Formation
Black and blue rollerball pens, graphite
2008
10"" x  14"" 
Providential by Charles Steckler
Providential
Ballpoint, ink, white-out, graphite, color pencil on cardboard
2002-2007
19"" x  24"" 
Etude by Charles Steckler
Etude
Pen & ink, pencil, white-out and scratches on printed magazine page
2006
8"" x  6.5"" 
Bzzzzt by Charles Steckler
Bzzzzt
Graphite, uni-ball, white ink
2008
9"" x  12"" 
Aggregate by Charles Steckler
Aggregate
Rollerball, ballpoint, white-out, color pencil, graphite on picture postcard
2007
4"" x  6"" 
Agglomerate by Charles Steckler
Agglomerate
White ink on xeroxed drawing
2006
10"" x  13"" 
Globoid by Charles Steckler
Globoid
Uni-ball, graphite and white ink on coated paper
2008
12.5"" x  14.5"" 
Bolus by Charles Steckler
Bolus
Uni-ball pen, graphite
2009
8"" x  8.5"" 
Orbital by Charles Steckler
Orbital
Black ink, white ink, gray paper
2008
012"" x  14"" 

Artist Statement
I draw for many reasons. I draw professionally and I draw for personal pleasure and out of curiosity. For a theatrical set designer, there is no leaner tool to convey or work out how a thing looks or what is intended or imagined. Here drawing is both thinking and describing. In contrast, my personal drawing practice is neither applied nor practical but is purely for the sake of experiment and the unalloyed pleasures of discovery. I call this activity per passa il tempo - passing time - which derives from a daily practice of automatic drawing. These drawings come from my hand’s undirected encounter with tools and materials. I generate marks and shapes improvisationally out of the energies embedded in muscle memory and subliminal awareness. By this approach I strive to subvert preconception and designing in favor of original experimentation. The glyphic scribblings that result are meditative and instructive in the way that Leonardo da Vinci’s recommendation to study stains on walls, ashes from the fire, clouds and mud, is offered as an aid to the conjuring imagination.

Artist Bio / CV
Charles Steckler is a bricoleur, an assemblage artist who works as a painter, printmaker, photographer, draughtsman, stage designer, and collage and diorama artist. He has exhibited his work in numerous one-person and group exhibitions and has designed stage sets for over a hundred plays. He has been a Yaddo Fellow, an Associate at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, a Resident Artist at the Vermont Studio Center, a Prix de Rome Finalist and Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome. He received his B.A. from Queens College and his MFA from Yale University. He is Professor of Theater and Designer-in-Residence at Union College in Schenectady, New York.

Steckler’s works are often characterized by a resourceful combining of common materials arranged in surprising ways to create intense, carefully orchestrated compositions. His dioramas and collages possess a rhythmic layering of objects and images set in densely packed spaces, vibrantly colored or starkly black and white. The works reveal a meticulous attention to detail while at the same time exuding a playful energy and humor. Ever present is the artist’s sense of joy and pleasure in the materials, in the juxtapositions he creates, and in the transformations he engenders. A strong narrative thread runs through most of Steckler’s works, setting him apart from many of his inspirational forebears like Joseph Cornell and Kurt Schwitters. This lively narrative impulse is a direct link with his work in the theater, and the dioramas can, in fact, be viewed as diminutive stage sets in which wondrous and whimsical dramas are eternally unfolding.