Biography: William C. Maxwell
I have been working and exhibiting as a professional artist since 1968, the same year that I established a New York studio in SOHO. In 1970, I planned for and inaugurated a cooperative exhibition space, one of the first in SOHO, Westbroadway Gallery. I served as its Board of Directors President for six years and had three solo shows at 43l West Broadway. After leaving Westbroadway Gallery in 1976, I joined the Elizabeth Weiner Galleries and had one solo show in her Madison Avenue space and another, a few years later, in her temporary space at 112 Green Street in SOHO. Eventually I migrated to the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery and had one solo exhibition in her Madison Avenue space, and was selected from her gallery to do a mid-career retrospective in the Lamont Gallery of the Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. This led to several other solo and group exhibitions including a print retrospective in Nishijin Art Factory, Kyoto Japan. In 1998, I began renovations on a new loft space in SOHO, and temporarily moved to a another artist district in Peekskill, New York. Here, I maintained a 2500 square foot live/work studio and found myself getting more and more involved in the "pioneering" spirit of this old "new" town, Westchester County's northern most city on the Hudson River, excitingly reinventing itself as an artist enclave. As such, I bought an 1863 Victorian home in this official Artist District, built a studio and gallery in a converted carriage house, purchased the lot next door where I built a sculpture garden, and decided to permanently locate in Peekskill, New York. Also in Peekskill, I joined the Casola Gallery, and had a major solo show in 2005. The next year, I had another solo exhibit in lower Manhattan in The Studio Annex. All along, I have been showing in numerous group shows and have been included in many museum, corporate and private collections. Recently, my work was collected by the Whitney Museum of American Art. I have been an artist/activist since 1972, as a member of PADD (Political Art Documentation Distribution) and several other activist groups. About 35 years ago, my work evolved into a concentrated obsession with the "Perfect Circle." As stated in my Artist Statement, I came to the belief that the work of art should reveal the struggle between perfection and imperfection, and as such, be representative of man's desire to "know," as an absolute, a need for completion and for certainity. Accordingly, I have chosen a path of semi-abstraction in both content and manifestation of my paintings, drawings and prints. More recently, I have incorporated photography and digital images that reflect and identify the landscape as a field of contemplation and reflection juxtaposed against man's never ending desire for "perfection," this struggle between chaotic nature and human order that always culminates in imperfection.
In 2011, I closed Maxwell Fine Arts after 12 years of fantastic indoor and outdoor exhibitions, performance art, video presentations and ephemeral artworks. Maxwell Fine Arts exists today only as a website documenting this history of shows and the artists involved. In 2012, I met Athena Bing He, owner of Studio A Gallery in Tarrytown, New York. Not too long thereafter, I became a co-partner in Studio A Gallery. I have curated a number of exhibitions there, bringing to Tarrytown new artists, some from Maxwell Fine Arts, and others from various locations including NYC. In January 2015, Athena and I closed the gallery and moved the teaching aspect of Studio A to our private studios in a converted castle on Beacon Hill, overloking the Hudson River, in Dobbs Ferry, NY. Studio A is now solely a teaching gallery providing instruction in drawing, painting and mixed media to devloping artists, specializing in high school students pursuing a superior portfolio for application to an art school, college or university.
Additionally, I am still, after 42 years, a Professor of Art at the College of New Rochelle, supervising its printmaking program, teaching courses in intaglio, relief, lithography, watercolor, mixed media painting, drawing fundamentals, and facilitating the Junior Art Seminar which is grounded heavily in the Philosophy of Art. I taught within and supervised the printmaking program at Teachers College, Columbia University for 15 years as a Visiting Artist. I am on the Board of Governors for the Robert Blackburn Printmaking Workshop of the Elizabeth Foundation, and on the Board of the Directors of the NY Society of Etchers.