Opening Reception: Saturday, January 20 from 5-7pm
On rare occasions a studio visit is the catalyst for forming a positive impression about that artist’s work. Seeing the work in the studio, in its physical form, in varying lights, allows us to see if the work has staying power and is capable of making more than a good impression. In the case of our visit to Stefanie Stark’s studio, we knew her work was pleasing as well as distinctive but were delighted to discover the quality of mark making, of composition and color selection. The artist’s work has an active quality about it that is at once considered and at the same time uninhibited. Comparisons to the work of Joan Mitchell, Elaine de Kooning and Perle Fine come easily to mind although Stark’s palette is all her own and of her time. Particularly striking are the variously sized works on extremely dark backgrounds.
References to flowers dominate the work exhibited in The Strength of Her, including individual stems and large stands of blooms, bouquets and unidentifiable flora. The artist has mastered landscape with its foreground, middle ground and sky formal formatting, with resounding success. Her palette in each in these takes on a distinctive mood based upon her array of pigmentation. Moody, contemplative, wistful, magical and spring fresh appear on different canvases.
By allowing the paint to run, to drip down the face of the canvases, the artist moves her work from being seen as floral and decorative to being experienced as bold and dynamic, diffuses it with passion and zest and her pleasure in the process of painting. Addison/Ripley Fine Art is delighted to work with a significant new talent whose fearless approach to painting imbues her work with gravitas, worthy of consideration and whose hard work is apparent in the works selected for this exhibition.
“Sometimes I don’t know exactly what I want [with a painting]. I check it out, recheck it for days or weeks. Sometimes there is more to do on it. Sometimes I am afraid of ruining what I have. Sometimes I am lazy, I don’t finish it or I don’t push it far enough. Sometimes I think it’s a painting.” Joan Mitchell
Addison/Ripley Fine Art is located at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue NW.