“Matter and energy” refers to “Wave Particle Duality” which is the fact that every particle or quantic entity exhibits the properties of not only particles, but waves. It suggests that the classical concepts of “particle” and “wave” (matter and energy) are inadequate to describe the universe at the quantum level. This seems to mean that our concept of what constitutes reality is wrong, and that our experience of the world limits our capacity to understand the world. Put simply, things are not always what they seem to be. And we have to set aside our assumption that a thing has to be either one thing or another and accept the idea that context is everything, that a thing can be a different thing in a different physical setting.
The title suggests that the work is describing something that is possible, with some difficulty, to imagine but impossible to depict. In keeping with John Cage’s famous dictum that art should imitate nature not in her appearance but “in her manner of operations”, these paintings endeavour to manifest duality in their material presence. Charged with human energy, the surfaces exhibit the properties of the beeswax from which they are made, describing a situation that is at once fluid (molten) and static (solid). A painting is never more that a physical manipulation of the stuff of the world at human scale but I believe it's value lies in its capacity describe our relationship to the material universe at every scale, from the imperceptibly small to the unimaginably immense.
Randall Steeves' "Matter and Energy" will be on display at Elissa Cristall Gallery in Vancouver from January 23rd to February 27th, 2016.