Stephen Davis

Levels of Abstraction, May 10-June 7, 2019

A painting often starts with a drawing. A drawing reveals the essence of how an artist views artist views artistic space. It is here, at the beginning, that an artist gets to choose how the viewer will interact with what is viewed. I’ve always been drawn to the cubist interpretation of space, where near and far are conflated, along with large or small, not dictated necessarily by actual distance or size, but by relational meaning and emotional nuance. This is where the excitement begins.

The excitement continues, in the realm of color. As in any style of art, the color must be chosen carefully. What makes the cubist style especially attractive to me lies in how blocks of flat color are played off one another. All the traditional design elements of balance, contrast, proportion are carefully observed.

But cubist tenets bring a special form of verve to the composition, but creating an order in which viewer is actively involved in the creation of personal meaning by providing a universal experience of shape and color; by creating an order in which the objects become metaphoric, and intertwine with one another, or present multiple interpretations at once; and by crating an order in which all picture zones are equivalent, and the distinction between negative and positive space dissolve.