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Geoff Hippenstiel
Devin Borden Gallery, Houston, Texas
Recommendation by Donna Tennant


Continuing through April 27, 2013


Abstract Expressionism is alive and well. Interpretations and permutations of this ubiquitous style continue to intrigue artists more than a century after the term was first used in reference to German Expressionism and later appropriated by the New York School in the 1950s. Geoff Hippenstiel brings a fresh approach to expressionism with five dazzling large-scale oils. Wielding brush, knife, and airbrush, he builds up layers of paint with an innovative technique that still pays homage to gestural abstraction.


Hippenstiel’s paintings are a study in contrast — explosive yet controlled, abstract but still vaguely representational. He creates the illusion of depth while affirming the importance of the surface. Using both artist's pigments and industrial paints, he experiments boldly with color. Metallic silver and gold, countless shades of green, light pink, orange, sky blue, purple, and acid yellow, along with white, black, and gray, are applied with a steady hand that keeps the proceedings under control. 


The title of the show, "Territorial Pissings," conjures the image of a dog marking his territory and establishing his domain. Consequently, one might assume that these paintings are thoroughly masculine in nature. And yet, Hippenstiel’s work has a refined, feminine side as well. The large painting composed of shimmering gold layered over shades of green is an elegant marriage of both gender sensibilities. 


Abstract expressionism will continue as a creative force as long as young artists like Hippenstiel continue to explore its many aspects, revitalizing it and bringing it into the twenty-first century.

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