Ruth Bachofner Gallery is pleased to present our inaugural exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Gretel Stephens. There will be a reception for the artist on Saturday, June 6, 5-7 PM.
Throughout the course of her career, Gretel Stephens has navigated spatial and figurative relationships within abstraction. As the formal center of her work shifts with each body of work, her interest in scale, space and material integrity remain consistent. All of her work comes from careful consideration of subtlety and small gestures that ultimately present themselves with a luminous presence - whether she is considering movement within softly rounded forms on the verge of melting into smoky grounds; or her more minimal works, whose soft edges brim with inner light; or more cosmic-centered imagery that appears to capture dramatic cosmic explosions.
For this new body of work, Stephens continues her process of dry-brushing layers of oil paint over linen surfaces. Numerous thin applications of paint allow the surfaces to remain open and penetrable, but always with subtle shifts and visual vibration. The artist refers to her palette in terms of birthstones: topaz, moonstone, sapphire, etc. The hardness that the reference to stone conjures, and the vast accumulations of paint involved in the production of the work belies the ultimate levity of Stephens' gently shimmering colorfields. While the paintings are generated with a focus on material relationships, the paintings consider both physical and conceptual limits and ephemerality. The radiance of the work induces metaphorical readings, while allowing access to infinite permutations within color.