Jeffrey Steele b. 1931

Jeffrey Steele is particularly known for mathematical monochrome works. He was born in Cardiff, Wales and studied at Cardiff University and Newport School of Art, Media and Design. He painted his first colour Systems painting in 1949 and by 1950 had completely abandoned figurative painting and adopted a more abstract style

By 1960 he had developed a more optical style which evolved whilst working in Paris on a French government scholarship. Following this he was included in the 1965 exhibition The Responsive Eye at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. Steele devised a set of rules for his paintings of the 1960s. It was a precise approach but despite this his working practice lost none of its intuitive nature – each work still had its own system. He was a contemporary of the Op Artists, but he maintained that the optical effects achieved in his works were not the intention but merely the result of the mathematical and logical systems he applied to the works, which aimed to challenge the viewers mind, both mentally and aesthetically.

Steele attended the Barry Summer School in Wales at which Kenneth and Mary Martin taught and around this time also co-founded the Systems Group with Malcolm Hughes in 1969. He became a teacher at Plymouth Polytechnic and his first one man show was held at Grabowski Gallery, London. His work has been exhibited in many of the Systems group exhibitions including at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London. He currently lives and works in Portsmouth.... read more

Jeffrey Steele Paintings and Drawings

Series of Five Studies in coloured Grey Pigments. No.2

Jeffrey Steele: Series of Five Studies in coloured Grey Pigments. No.2, 1960

Series of Five Studies in coloured Grey Pigments. No.3

Jeffrey Steele: Series of Five Studies in coloured Grey Pigments. No.3, 1960

Series of Five Studies in coloured Grey Pigments. No.4

Jeffrey Steele: Series of Five Studies in coloured Grey Pigments. No.4, 1960

Seven Rows of Eleven Square forms in Cinematic Rotation

Jeffrey Steele: Seven Rows of Eleven Square forms in Cinematic Rotation, 1961

Syntagma Sg III 158

Jeffrey Steele: Syntagma Sg III 158, 1964/2008

Four sets of 4 chromatic oppositions in quadratic rotation

Jeffrey Steele: Four sets of 4 chromatic oppositions in quadratic rotation, 1974

Syntagma Sg III 104

Jeffrey Steele: Syntagma Sg III 104, 1992

Tabula Plena (First Version)

Jeffrey Steele: Tabula Plena (First Version), 2004

Syntagma Sg IV 118

Jeffrey Steele: Syntagma Sg IV 118, 2005

Numerical Reduction of Two Gestalt Figures

Jeffrey Steele: Numerical Reduction of Two Gestalt Figures, 2006

Two Chiasmic Syntagmata – Sg IV 125/126

Jeffrey Steele: Two Chiasmic Syntagmata – Sg IV 125/126, 2007

Jeffrey Steele Prints

Sei Grafiche Uno, Geometrical Composition number 4, Syntagma Sg  XIII 2

Jeffrey Steele: Sei Grafiche Uno, Geometrical Composition number 4, Syntagma Sg XIII 2, 1960/2008

Sei Grafiche Due – First Proto-Gestalt Structure/Intersecting Circular Form

Jeffrey Steele: Sei Grafiche Due – First Proto-Gestalt Structure/Intersecting Circular Form, 1965/2008

Sei Grafiche Sei – Studio rytmico syntagma modulo 4 Syntagma Sg IV 112

Jeffrey Steele: Sei Grafiche Sei – Studio rytmico syntagma modulo 4 Syntagma Sg IV 112, 2004/2008

Sei Grafiche Tre – Chiasmic Syntagma Modulo 4 Sg IV 128,

Jeffrey Steele: Sei Grafiche Tre – Chiasmic Syntagma Modulo 4 Sg IV 128,, 2008