Gretel Stephens exercises a masterful technique applying rich oils on linen. These classically constructed paintings use the universal language of color and spacial relations as a starting point for the viewers own expedition into another dimension. Place?
“…handsome abstract oil paintings on linen with rich metaphorical
associations. Wearing on her sleeve her reverence for Rothko and
Baziotes, Stephens channels the radiant colors and limpid forms of
their work into paintings that evoke microscopic realms.”
~ Michael Duncan, Art in America, 2008
Gretel Stephens - After painting for thirty years, I still struggle to articulate an "artist's statement." As soon as the words are out there, they seem slightly less true than they were the moment before. My stated goal has been to empty everything out of the work; but the paintings seem to fill up with narrative scraps, references to the body, objects, allusions to other artists - stuff. Concerns shift from one series to the next, from one painting to the next, often from one passage to the next within the same painting.. Certain interests do remain constant: surface, color relationships, materials. The paintings in this exhibition derive from a concentration on centers of energy and the colors they suggest. ~ G.S.
Gretel lives in Pasadena, CA while working in downtown Los Angeles. This is her first exhibition with Lawrence Asher Gallery.