Kyle Staver in New York, NY

With my scribbled long checklist in hand, I was on an East Village gallery outing, of shows I wanted to see. Half Gallery is on E. 4th Street and Avenue B, not far from Tompkins Square Park where I used to take my kids to play when they were very little. It’s a lot nicer than it was back then.

Kyle Staver’s oil paintings in the exhibition “tout court” looked great in the beautiful corner gallery space. As like everything, photos do not do them justice. Her use of color is phenomenal and you can sense the mythology and history in each painting. I’d hang any of them in my home, but the three below were my favorites.

Dolphins, 2021
Oil on canvas
70” x 68 in.
Spring, 2020
Oil on canvas
70” x 58 in.
Boar Hunt, 2022
Oil on linen
58” x 70 in.

I’m often the only person in a gallery, as I am fortunate to be able to go at quiet times of day. More often than not, I am in and out of a gallery without even seeing someone who works there, let alone a hello. A man came in the gallery, said hello and walked into the back room. As I was just about to leave, he was as well, and asked if I wanted to come see the small gallery space down the street with more of Staver’s work. With an enthusiastic yes, he grabbed the keys and we walked halfway down the block to a show of Staver’s relief sculptures. The gallery was tiny, and perfect for the reliefs. Don’t worry, it turned out the galleries are his.

Fired clay relief sculptures

I could not believe my good fortune as the relief sculptures were very much up my alley. They are in perfect white shadow box frames, and as a ceramicist myself, I understood these pieces had been bisque-fired (fired once). They are studies. Little gems.

Death and the Maiden, 2020
Fired clay relief
18” x 10” x 4 in.
Spring, 2021
Fired Clay Relief
Study for “The Judgement of Paris”, 2019
Fired clay relief
14” x 11 in.

In awe of Staver’s talent, I wanted to know more about her. I was able to find some of the titles for the reliefs above by sorting through this. The more I read, the more I understood the figurative and mythical paintings and reliefs. Read this for a deeper understanding of Staver’s work. I’d hang any of these reliefs in my home if I could, right next to one of those paintings from above. A girl can dream.

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