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Steven Assael (born 1957) is an American painter recognized nationally as one of the leading representational figurative artists of his generation. His portrayal of the human image is empathic, ennobling, and psychologically penetrating. Assael's figure compositions synthesize the characteristics of the past masters with a selective eye for the present, suffusing elements of naturalism and romanticism to blend contemporary techniques with those of the past.
Assael's paintings have been called Post-Post Modern. He works strictly from live models. Arlene Raven describes him as wanting "the greater possibilities of duration. More variety, and a broader range of values and colors, a chronicle of the transformations of changing light, spent over real minutes and hours with his model." In speaking of his work and how it contributes to contemporary art, Assael stated that, "Even though art is dead as we have known it, painting is not." 
Born and raised in New York, NY, Assael showed an enthusiasm for art at a young age, taking art classes at the Museum of Modern Art at the age of four. He attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York and at The New York Academy of Art.
Assael's work is included in public and private collections around the world. Some are, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (Kansas, MO), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Yale University (New Haven, CT), and the Art Institute of Chicago (Chicago, IL). Solo and group exhibitions have included the Staempfli Gallery (New York, NY), Forum Gallery (New York, NY), Fendrick Gallery (Washington DC), National Arts Club (New York, NY), Yale University (New Haven, CT), San Francisco Museum of Fine Art (San Francisco, CA), Arkansas Art Center (Little Rock, AR), Kennesaw State University (Kennesaw, GA), Stephen F Austin State College (Nacogdoches, TX), University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, NC), Phillbrook Museum of Art (Tulsa, OK), and the National Museum in Gadansk, Poland. In 1999 his work was exhibited in a ten-year retrospective at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington and CBS Sunday Morning ran a feature on the artist and the show.
Assael is represented by Forum Gallery and currently resides in New York City.
- Karen Kolada, ed. (2000), Steven Assael: Selected Drawings, Linden Hill Art Books