Steven Baris: Observing our non-spaces

“Somewhere Beyond or Behind” is by Steven Baris.

By the time painter Steven Baris was in high school, he had lived on at least four different Native American reservations in the Pacific Northwest and California. The landscape must have felt foreign to his father, a lifelong New Yorker who happened to find a job with the Department of Indian Affairs. But Baris-the-younger couldn’t help but adopt some of the Native American reverence for land and place.

Since moving to Philadelphia in 1984 to attend the Tyler School of Art, Baris has been obsessed with the way that Americans relate to their environment.

His latest series of abstract paintings — “Stations of the Cube,” opening Friday at the Pentimenti Gallery — explores the hidden landscapes in which we live.

“Recently, I’ve been fascinated by distribution centers on the [N.J. Turnpike]. The landscape has been completely reinvented with these massive structures. Few people even go near these spaces other than truck drivers. We don’t think about them, but they have enormous impact on our lives,” says Baris.  “Writers and artists and thinkers are always talking about cities, and the suburbs have been hashed over quite a lot over the last two decades. But there hasn’t been a whole lot of observation and reflection about these other spaces — these non-spaces.”

“Stations” is a series of 10 paintings — on canvas, Plexiglas and Mylar — ranging from 20 inches in diameter to nearly 7 feet and utilizing transparent paint — often on transparent surfaces, to boot.

“It’s a way to get at the kind of pictorial space that I’m trying to create: a hovering sense of not quite here, not quite there,” explains Baris. “For me, to work on a surface that is itself transparent really energizes the painting.”


MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…


NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…


Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…


Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…


Kevin Smith makes peace with the Internet

I was thinking about Ain't It Cool News and Harry Knowles last night, wondering if anyone from Ain't It Cool had reviewed my new movie…


Art imitates life in 'Swim Little Fish Swim'

There's a certain comfort to be taken in finding that young artists are still moving to New York and trying to make it — and…


Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.


Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.


Oday Aboushi ready for increased role, and to…

Oday Aboushi might feel comfortable enough to engage in some trash talk the next time he is on the field.


Giants vs. Texans: 3 things to watch

The Giants host the surprising Texans (2-0) in what may already be a must-win game for Big Blue.


Eric Decker misses practice again, could miss Monday

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker missed practice Thursday as he continues to rehab a hamstring injury suffered last Sunday.


Derek Jeter still focused on baseball as final…

Derek Jeter has effectively hid his emotions for 20 years in the Bronx.


A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.


3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.


Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…


Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…