Steven H. Rehfeld, who earned his B.A. in studio art from the University of California, Santa Barbara, is the quintessential California artist, continuing the tradition of Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell and others as a viable aesthetic enterprise for the postmodern era. Like the Bay Area painters 1950s, Rehfeld seems to draw inspiration from the existential zeitgeist of the Abstract Expressionist, yet like them too, he does not totally reject the figure.
In fact, one of the most powerful paintings as well as the largest canvas in Rehfeld's recent solo show at Montserrat, 584 Broadway, was "Roman Year 3001," magnificent oil of three nude figure in landscape. Posed frontally as though in a neo-classical frieze, two of the figures are female and one is male. One of the female nude nudes is conspicuously missing an arm, giving her the appearance of a statue from antiquity-an effect enhanced by the grey cast of all three figures. At the same time, the casual, animated gestures of the figures, as well as their expressive eyes, complete with pupils, gives the scene a more metaphysical quality, as though they are 'living statues' or mythical beings who are sentient in some supernatural sense.