Utilizing a vocabulary drawn from the fundamental physics of pattern generation and the mathematics of geometry, Stephens’s recent work presents large monochromatic paintings in black and white, and smaller scale paintings in full color. This recent evolution of Stephens’s painting deepens his investigations into the laws of nature that determine the structure and behavior of matter from the subatomic to the cosmological. Beginning with an underpainting of variable grids using both colored paper collage and pre-printed textiles, Stephens then layers matrices of linear elements to develop a dynamic perception of space and an optical blending of color and tone. While the inspiration is based in science and mathematics, they lead to abstract paintings rich with associations to sumptuous textiles and complex architectural mosaics.
Though he has read deeply into the science, Stephens’s work is an artist’s answer to its implicit resonances. These laws shape our universe, and ourselves, but their theories, String and Quantum Mechanics, can hardly be visualized; they are mathematical equations on a chalk board. Stephens translates that world into a visual, multilayered, and sumptuous landscape that in layer after layer enfolds one gradient of reality on another. The final act is the artist’s, the random mutation that opens the door to deeper self understanding.
Peter Stephens lives and works in Buffalo, NY. His work has been exhibited in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions throughout the United States and Canada. He is a graduate of
The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and had been a working artist for over 30 years.
Along with many private collections, his paintings are in the public collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, The Brooklyn Museum, and the Burchfield Penney Art Center among others.