The Washington Post
November 30, 1991
Landscapes Made From Memory
By Mary McCoy
Deserted shadowy buildings define the sense of place in Steven Fuchs’s
ink and wash paintings at Gallery K. This Arlington artist paints
familiar scenes, mostly from around the Washington area, but he
paints them in the dead of night, when buildings have a lonely drama,
thanks to deep shadows cast in the artificial glow of streetlights.
These night scenes are rendered in a friendly, illustrative style.
Free from the activity of daylight hours, they are full of the history
of their buildings, and they are full of promise. Lit by spotlights
high on three towering cranes, "Clarendon" resembles a
stage set, awaiting the next step in its transition, Its 1920s vintage
storefronts, now occupied by Asian businesses, seem quaint and curious
compared with the blank façade of an office building rising
across the street. With a characteristic streak of mischievousness,
Fuchs labels the green awning over one of the doorways "Bank
Fuchs doesn’t stint on detail. He draws every brick in the
sidewalk outside the Mayflower Hotel and even takes on the Shriner’s
building with its triple arched doorway encrusted with decorative
motifs. The enthusiasm of many an artist would fail at such tedious
tasks, but Fuchs makes it look easy, even fun, keeping his linework
loose and lively through-out.
The storybook quality of this work turns each scene into a narrative.
With dramatic perspective and lighting, buildings loom large or
nestle cozily on street corners. The architecture becomes the vehicle
for this narrative, whether it is the history of a rambling complex
of grain elevators in Gaithesburgh or the interior of a tiny apartment
with city lights glinting off its windowsills. For Fuchs, architecture
is the setting for the playing out of history and dreams.