In celebration of the gallery’s eighteenth anniversary, Margaret Thatcher Projects is pleased to present THRILLS, William Steiger’s tenth solo exhibition at the gallery. The collection of new paintings and collages invoke wonder and awe through the splendor of early modernism and rural imagery.
Steiger’s compositions are atmospheric, yet stylized. The clean, thoughtfully conceived lines and forms depict trams, roller coasters, and buildings at the height of pre-war industrial achievement. The collages, initially considered sketches or preparatory drawings, are now fully realized compositions. Like delicate jigsaw puzzles, intricately detailed images from found paper, gouache, and vintage maps are carefully cut and layered.
Wires, tracks and horizons extend through the works, creating an expansive scene where sky, ground and architecture move far beyond the confines of the canvas and paper. Though figuratively devoid of humans, Steiger establishes a distinct, often dramatic, perspective, capturing fragments of structures and landscapes where the viewer becomes the sole active participant standing before a monumental scene.
Imparting a sense of timeless sentimentality, Steiger renders modern landscapes from the first half of the 20th century, often contrasting unspoiled horizons with urbanization. The disparate settings are intertwined through an idealistic lens in which the past co-habituates with the present.