Steve Locke: Homage to the Auction Block

October 1-27, 2021
Stone Gallery


In this new series of work, artist Steve Locke brings color theory to his ongoing dialogue on images of racial exploitation in American history including the conflicted past Locke explored in the Auction Block Hall Proposal and the Three Deliberate Grays for Freddie at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 2018-2019

Of this work, Locke said,

“The application of flat color, the use of the grid, and the reliance on “primary structures” have art historical meanings central to Western Modernism-and its notion that form could be separated from its content. The works retain some residue of their and conception with guided and grid lines at times visible in the hand painted surface.  Proportion and chromatic relationships are explored to varying visual effect. The use of the “auction block” motif literally organizes these modernist relations around the central symbol of chattel slavery in the Americas. The work re-frames the work of modernism around the shape that made it possible.” 

Steve Locke (b. 1963, Cleveland, OH) was raised in Detroit, Michigan and joined the faculty of the Pratt Institute in New York in the Fall of 2019. Prior, he was a Boston-based artist for over twenty years. He received an M.F.A. in 2001 from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and holds Bachelor’s Degrees from Boston University and MassArt. He attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2002. He has been artist-in-residence at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston (2016) and for the City of Boston (2018).