Focus Santa Fe | August 2007 | By Claudia Joseph
Rick Stevens’ most recent work exhibited by Hunter Kirkland Contemporary explores nature’s tenuous vacillation between structure and amorphous forms. Inspired by the constant flux of natural shapes, Stevens creates abstract works of art in oil on linen and pastel on paper. In his new show “Evolving Structure”, Stevens opens himself up to nature’s multi-faceted dimensions, from the microscopic to the cosmic—perceiving an intelligence or unifying force behind it all.
During the past 25 years Stevens’ painting has evolved into vivid abstractions. “While the shapes in my work may come from observing nature, they may also take on symbolic implications. A line can symbolize man’s need for structure. The spotted patterns and dancing dots permeating throughout express the life affirming human spirit that refuses to be constricted by barriers.”
Stevens’ latest paintings cannot help but be informed by his attraction to nature, and he allows the abstract expressions to come forth in an organic and unstructured way, likening his creative process to jazz improvisation. “When I become predictable I get bored. I need the challenge of unknown territory.” With lyrical spacing and harmonies of color it’s easy to find parallels to music in his paintings.
The patterns in his compositions are often compared to Gustav Klimt. Stevens readily confirms that he is under his influence as well as Bonnard, Degas, the landscape painter George Inness, and abstract expressionists like Hans Hoffman and Joan Mitchell. “Studying other painters guides my work as much as observing nature. Painting is, after all, a form of communication that is built upon what others have achieved.”
“>Read the full article here >