34 x 24 inches
Fragments of wood are hand painted with a pastel palette and pale gray acrylics and adhered to a wood panel that measures 34 x 24 inches.
Stephen Walling demonstrates a trained eye with wall relief sculptures of colorfully painted wood strips and blocks, intricately carved and composed into graphic arrangements.
Although Walling’s sculptures are crafted around a dedication to color and shape, his newest body of works reveals a shift in inspiration and evolution in studio process. In earlier work, the artist took his cues from nature; representational forms based on the shapes of trees, slopes of the Catskill mountains and even aerial views were most prevalent. He also experimented with photo-collage, pasting images of back lit forests on varying heights of wood. More recently, Walling has found increasing comfort in the possibilities of abstraction. Walling now follows a kind of ‘mind-map’, influenced by almost anything and everything, when creating a new sculpture. The premeditated image leads Walling to the selection of all colors, shapes, and arrangements. Recent work demonstrates a fascination with light and shadow. Individual pieces of intricately carved wood unite to create various shadows that work to create a dazzling optical illusion. Ranging depths of wood are often enhanced with color painted on different sides of each block. This hint of color encourages the viewer’s eye to travel throughout Walling’s surfaces as perspective reveals transitions in palette and shadow.
Image rights: Carrie Haddad Gallery