March 5, 2009, New York, NY–ÂSteven Assael, the New York artist hailed byÂThe Art Newspaper as “the foremost figurative painter of his generation”, will exhibit his latest paintings and drawings at Forum Gallery, New York, from March 19 to May 2, 2009. The exhibition, Assael’s seventh since joining the Gallery in 1998, focuses on public and private aspects of urban life and explores issues of intimacy, gender and personal identity. The portraits and narratives the artist paints touch on contact, isolation, sexuality and the journey through life.

In the paintings,ÂSteven Assael employs his unique, characteristic sense of light and shadow to illuminate the characters and lives of his subjects. A featured painting,ÂCrowd #1, 2009, oil on canvas, 72″ x 96″, was exhibited by Forum Gallery atÂThe Armory Show Modern (New York, March 5-9) to preview the forthcoming exhibition. In this major work, Assael leaves specific location and narrative to the viewer. He shows a crowd of infinite number and depth, people to whom we relate but who do not relate to each other, no matter how close the gathering.

The drawings are striking in their detail and accuracy, always used in the interest and exploration of intimate moments of introspection. All of the drawings and paintings in the exhibition have been created since 2006.

Steven Assael’s work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at museums from Chattanooga to Seattle and at galleries throughout the United States. Works have been chosen for curated group exhibitions at the Naples Museum of Art, FL; the Arkansas Art Center, the Evansville Museum, IN; and the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; among many. Paintings and drawings can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art & Design, Kansas City; The Columbus Museum, GA; and many other museum and distinguished private collections.

An opening reception with the artist will take place on Thursday, March 19, 2009 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM at Forum Gallery, 745 Fifth Avenue at 57thÂStreet, Fifth Floor. The exhibition continues through Saturday, May 2, 2009. A full color catalogue, with essay by Anna F. Burgess, is available, $25.00 ppd. The entire exhibition may be viewed online at www.forumgallery.com/currentseason. For more information please contact the Gallery.