William Steiger: Whistle Stop


PRESS RELEASE: William Steiger: Whistle Stop, Mar 16 - Apr 22, 2023

Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to announce Whistle Stop, an exhibition of new paintings and collages by William Steiger. The body of work features intricate constructions of industrial architecture, rural landscapes, and moments of beauty found at their intersection. Whistle Stop will open on Thursday, March 16, and continue through Saturday, April 15. A reception will be held on March 16, from 6-8 PM.


The exhibition's title is lifted from railway terminology, on which Steiger elaborates, "In railway terms, a Whistle Stop was an unscheduled destination, or a point along the train’s passage reached only upon request...The subjects central to my work, like a whistle stop, might not be immediately attention-grabbing from a speeding train. By looking for beauty in these prosaic structures, I find that unplanned stop in the journey and uncover the unexpected soulfulness of manmade objects." Through this practice of seeing, Steiger takes a scalpel to the mundane architectures that dominate our natural world, revealing their nuance, romance, and significance.


Among Steiger's subjects are buildings intended to store grain or water, common to the American landscape. Steiger carefully constructs an illusion of specificity in these compositions, one which is unveiled upon the realization that there are no details identifying a subject's time or place. The content's openness exposes the familiarity of these landscapes, allowing the viewer to frame them within their own memories. Through this method, Steiger recognizes his subjects as iconic objects within our collective memory.


Operating in a style that can be described as hard-edged, flat and objective, Steiger has carved an important space as a painter of scenes from a collective library of visual recognition. Painted with a surreal starkness, these scenes create stillness in an era of rapid modernization.  

William Steiger received a B.A. in Art from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an M.F.A. in painting from Yale University in 1989. Steiger has been a recipient of numerous grants, fellowships, and awards, including The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award, Basil H. Alkazzi Travel Award, London, England, and The Phelps Berdan Memorial Award for Distinction in Painting, Yale University. His work is included in numerous private, public and corporate collections. Steiger has had more than 40 solo exhibitions worldwide, most recently in Valencia, Seoul and Tokyo. Whistle Stop is his thirteenth solo exhibition at Thatcher Projects. In 2011, Hudson Hills Press published a 200-page monograph on the artist's work with 13 contributing writers and over 200 images. He is included in collections at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, Ringling Museum, Indianapolis Museum of Art, and The Horim Museum, among others.

Margaret Thatcher Projects is located in 539 West 23rd Street, ground floor (between 10th and 11th Avenues).  Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm.  For further information contact the gallery at: info@thatcherprojects.com, or 212.675.0222.