Oil on canvas
55″ x 44″ (139.7 x 111.8 cm)
Oil on canvas
59-7/8″ x 48″ (152.1 x 121.9 cm)
The latest body of work by Yale educated, Wyoming-based artist Chris Pfister is a collection of oil paintings executed in beautifully selected and hand-mixed palettes of grey, sepia and black and white. Pfister’s groupings make no overt declaration, but rather lead the viewer to investigate the history and interconnectedness of exploration and mechanization seen within the last two hundred years or so. Painted as snapshots of moments in history, Pfister’s groupings present a series of images that relate to one another in their sense of cause and effect, while documenting the growth and industrialization of our world.
Chris Pfister was born and raised in Denver, Colorado, in 1957.
In 1975, Pfister moved to Lewiston, Maine, to attend Bates College. Pfister had studied at Bates for two years when he was encouraged by his teacher, painter Robert Feintuch, to take part in the vibrant art world of New York City. In 1977, Pfister took his teacher’s advice and spent a year and a half studying at the New York Studio School, a unique and important institution founded by Mercedes Matter, a former student of Hans Hofmann.
Pfister returned to Bates College later in 1978, following his time at the New York Studio School. A Bates French professor encouraged him to begin new studies in Provence, France (Pfister’s mother was a French native), where he worked from 1978-79 at at The Lacoste School of the Arts with painter Paul Resika, among others. Pfister received his bachelors in Fine Arts from Bates College in 1980.
When he completed his undergraduate studies, Pfister returned to live in New York City but found himself with too little time for painting; he soon moved to Upstate New York. There he worked on a horse farm, doing the groundwork for racehorses. During his years in Upstate New York, Pfister rose early each morning, and completed his work on the farm by the early afternoon, so he could spend the remainder of his day painting. In this period of time, he created an impressive body of artwork and applied to the masters program in fine arts at Yale University, where he would later earn his MFA in 1985.
Following Yale, after another decade and a half in New York City, Pfister re-connected with his roots and love of the natural world and moved to a ranch on Gooseberry Creek, Wyoming, where he has lived and worked for over 15 years. He divides his time between the ranch and Cody, Wyoming, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Pfister makes all of his own oil paints and starts each day in the studio by mixing colors. This devoted practice intensifies his relationship with painting and creates a uniqueness in his work.
2015 – “The Monochromes,” Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, California
2012 – “Chris Pfister and Piper O’Neill,” Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle, Washington
2011 – Winston Wächter Fine Art, Seattle, Washington
1999 – Between the Muse Gallery, Rockland, Maine
1998 – “For the Birds,” Geoffrey Young Gallery, Great Barrington, Maine
1997 – Group Show, Turner Runyon, Houston, Texas
1997 – “American Landscape,” Marcia Wood Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia
1997 – “Landscape and Abstraction,” James Graham & Sons, New York, New York
1997 – “Classics Revisited,” Winston Wächter Fine Arts, New York, New York
1996 – Winston Wächter Fine Arts, New York, New York
1995 – “Terrestrial Bodies,” Zoller Museum, Penn State University, Pennsylvania
1995 – “Up the Garden Path,” Dolgenos Newman Work Space, New York, New York
1994 – Bernard Toale Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
1994 – “The Seer,” O’Hara Gallery, New York, New York
1993 – John Post Lee Gallery, New York, New York
1993 – “Twilight Intervals,” Pat Shea Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1993 – Littlejohn Smith Gallery, New York, New York
1993 – Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut
1993 – John Post Lee Gallery
1992 – White Columns, New York, New York
1991 – John Post Lee Gallery, New York, New York
1991 – Betsy Rosenfeld Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
1991 – Lyric, White Columns, New York, New York
1990 – Jamie Wolff Gallery, New York, New York
1990 – Betsy Rosenfeld Gallery, Chicago, Ilinois
1989 – Bess Cutler Gallery, New York, New York
1989 – “Nocturnal Visions in Contemporary Painting,” Whitney Museum at The Equitable Center, New York, New York
1989 – Bess Cutler Gallery, New York, New York
1989 – “Memory and Artifact,” Barbara Fendrick Gallery, New York & Washington, D.C.
1989 – “Landscape,” Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, New York
1989 – “Landscape,” Betsy Rosenfeld Gallery, Chicago, Ilinois
1989 – Annual Benefit, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, New York
1989 – Pat Stavaridis Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts
1988 – John Davis Gallery, New York, New York
1988 – Bess Cutler Gallery, New York, New York
1987 – Jan Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, California
1987 – Downtown Perspectives, Adelphi University, New York, New York
1987 – White Columns, New York, New York
1987 – “Looking at New Work,” Rosa Esman Gallery, New York, New York
1987 – New American Landscape, Fay Gold Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia
1986 – Second Avenue Gallery, New York, New York
1985 – Thesis Exhibition, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
1979 – The School of Art, Lacoste, France
New York Times – “Art: The New Romantics Paint the Past,” by Grace Glueck
New York Times – “So Sad, So Pastoral, So End of the Century” by Michael Kimmelman
Ash, John. “Chris Pfister at Bess Cutler Gallery.” Art in America, November 1989.
Anderson, Alexandra. “The Next Generation.” Smart Magazine, October 1989.
Glueck, Grace. “The New Romantics Paint the Past.” The New York Times. September 10, 1989.
Kimmelman, Michael. “So Sad, So Pastoral, So End of the Century.” The New York Times. October 20, 1989.
Kimmelman, Michael. “Nocturnal Visions in Contemporary Painting.” The New York Times. October 20, 1989.
Larson, Kay. “Memory and Artifact: Romanticism Revisted.” New York Magazine. November 13, 1989.
Mahoney, Robert. Review. Arts Magazine. April 1988.
Mahoney, Robert. “Gallery News.” Flash Art, April 1991.
Mahoney, Robert. “Chris Pfister at John Post Lee Gallery.” Arts Magazine, September 1991.
New Art Examiner. Review. Arts Magazine. April 1998.
New York Magazine. Review. Arts Magazine. November 1996.
Zinsser, John. “Chris Pfister.” New Art International. May 1989.
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