Painter Stephen Ellis is interested in abstraction as a language of allusions. Ellis’s works alternately employ geometric, gestural, and organic forms in vibrant compositions. He also works with what appear to be textual motifs, though the words themselves are just beyond the point of legibility. His greatest formal preoccupation, though, is with the grid, which appears in diagonal and rectilinear orientations, and sometimes with more irregular intervals. Ellis’s works are also characterized by their appearance of translucent and complex-colored layers, which are the result of thinly applied glazes of paint. He cites Barnett Newman among the artists he admires.