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Maxwell Stevens Image 2 Onetwentyeight.JPG

Beach Scene (Siblings)

Oil on Canvas

72 x 80 in, 183 x 203.2 cm


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“Beach Scene (Siblings)” is the largest oil painting in the “Last Days of Summer” series. This centerpiece image presents a group of leisurely young sunbathers rendered with a three-dimensionality that brings the figures to life. The enticing position of the woman fixing her hair is counterbalanced with the innocence of her companions in the scene, as her sisters relax under their colorful beach umbrella. Hundreds of other beachgoers disappear onto the hazy horizon. The complex arrangement and dazzling composition recall Titian’s “Bacchus and Ariadne” and Picasso’s “Family of Saltimbanques.” The expansive bright blue sky is overpainted with explosive and energetic abstract brushstrokes that progress from left to right in improvised arrangements with incidental drips and plops of colorful paint flying across the surface and figures alike. The carefully rendered scene is superposed with richly impastoed abstract brushstrokes of jewel-like blues, aquas, and teal with colors and movements enhancing the carefree spirit and freedom of the beach. The abstract brushstrokes have an animated and watery movement that heightens this feeling. In this series, the artist’s visual language of sinuous contours and smears has given way to a burst of highly energetic expressions of scattered brushstrokes, sweeping gestures, drips, and plops of paint that fly across the paintings’ surfaces, immersing each scene into his own signature approach to abstraction.

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