According to the release from Philip Slein Gallery, Gary Stephen has had more than 70 solo shows and has received awards from the Whitney Biennial, the National Endowmen of the Arts and others. His work is now at the gallery at 4735 McPherson Ave through March 29.
To find out more, we went to a 2010 article by David Carrier in Art Critical about Stephan’s “Transcending Suburbia” show.
Carrier writes that “to understand Stephan’s recent individual paintings, you need to see how they relate to each other and the exhibition space. Only then does his play between surfaces, emphasized by the lace-like textures and his ambiguously abstract windows, become apparent. Under the spell of Mondrian, the American Abstract Artists created a great deal of geometric painting that never went anywhere. And so it was natural for the art world to write off this tradition. But this exhibition shows that that was a mistake. Not the least of Stephan’s achievements is to show that a moribund style of abstraction has enormous, as yet unexplored potential.”
We also found a wide-ranging conversation between Stephen and Phong Bui in The Brooklyn Rail (Sept. 3, 2012) including his reaction to a particular piece of criticism:
"I remember an early review when I moved to New York, which said that the work gave, it took back, it proposed, it undermined, it suggested, and then it refused to complete the thought. I was reading this list of equivocations basically, and I thought, this is excellent, I can’t believe somebody is getting my vacillations as subject. And at the end he said: And for that reason the work is a failure. And I thought, oh, this is going to be a rocky road. What people really want is the declarative, assertive kind of work, and if some people considered it a failure, then I would take that as sufficiently instructive. I also thought, ah, that’s life."
For more from the artist, go to garystephanstudio.com
Female Artists and Fiber
The opening reception is 2-4 p.m. March 8 and the exhibit is up through April 12. The gallery is at 419 N. 10th St.
Summer really has to be coming
Muny season tickets go on sale March 8.
But winter requires reheated soup
Last week, we gave a little shout out to St. Louis Soup Across the Delmar Divide. But March 2 turned into one of those “listen to the sleet and make your own soup” days.
So the event will be March 9 at 3 p.m. at the Sanctuary, 4449 Red Bud Ave.
As noted last week, this is an effort of the Anti-Defamation League, the Missouri History Museum and the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts to gather ideas to “activate our city and bridge racial and socio-economic divisions in the community surrounding Delmar Boulevard.”
People who come, donate $10 for refreshments, which include soup, and then vote for their favorite among the proposals. All of the money raised goes to the winning idea.
RSVP to delmardivide.eventbrite.com/#
The CAM model
Beatrix Ruf, director and chief curator of the Kunsthalle Zürich, and Amy Sadao, director of the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia will discuss how non-collecting museums work in the U.S. and elsewhere.
The event is at 7 p.m. March 10, at the Contemporary Art Museum, 3750 Washington Bvd., 63108.