TM/GS: Tom Meacham/Gary Stephan
"NO TRACE ANYWHERE OF LIFE, you say, pah, no difficulty there, imagination not dead yet, yes, dead, good, imagination dead imagine." – Samuel Beckett
“The house, the street, the town, are points to which human energy is directed: they should be ordered, otherwise they counteract the fundamental principles round which they revolve; if they are not ordered, they oppose themselves to us, they thwart us, as the nature all around us thwarts us, though we have striven with it, and with it begin each day a new struggle” – Le Corbusier, 1978
When I view Gary's work, both painting and sculpture, I find myself in a reconstructed world. I am struck with the precision by which chaos is ordered and allowed its freedom simultaneously. The illusionistic space, of the paintings, the fictive space, cannot be pinned down, shifting between vantage point, shifting scale relationships between objects, micro and macro. The sculpture absurdly taunts, " I am a mountain, a satellite tower, an iceberg, made of fiction, of nothing, of the detritus of daily life."
Where have we arrived? The unnamable and the named unnamable? We are allowed to swim in the ripple between language and the two and three dimensional lies, comfortably uncomfortable in the metaphysical stew.
CD/SC: Cheryl Donegan/Stephanie Campos
"There are so many people here to compete with, that changing your tastes to what other people don't want, is your only hope of getting anything." – Andy Warhol
"We are sending our works on Sunday morning as fourth class luggage."
– Kasimir Malevich excerpted from a letter to Josif Shkolnik, 2 November 1913
I first saw a painting by Stephanie Campos 3 years ago in a group show at Bronwyn Keenan's gallery curated by the artist Katherine Bernhardt. It attracted me with its odd, compelling physical presence and (given the ubiquity of figurative painting) its obstinate imagery: a grid of roughly painted squares in whites and beiges. Painted on a thin Masonite board that warped under the heaving surface of thick paint it seemed to me kind of a garage constructivism.
It is where the dead end reveals a secret passage to pleasure, where something impossible and neglected becomes rewarding, where something at first glance un-ingratiating lodges itself in your memory and won't let go.