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Eion Stevens: Shaped Paintings

When:

Tue 14 Sep 2010, 10:00am–5:30pm
Wed 15 Sep 2010, 10:00am–5:30pm
Thu 16 Sep 2010, 10:00am–5:30pm
Fri 17 Sep 2010, 10:00am–5:30pm
Sat 18 Sep 2010, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: Warwick Henderson Gallery, 255 Broadway, Newmarket, Auckland

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Listed by: Anne Gifford

“A Thinking Man's Art comes with a mortgage, a black eye and a smile”. Steven’s latest exhibition at Warwick Henderson Gallery this month promises to intrigue, amuse or at least brighten up the audience's day. Stevens has had an impressive career exhibiting his unique work for over thirty years. Along the way he has built up a solid following of collectors and admirers and his work is housed in public and private collections in New Zealand and overseas.

One of the key elements in the paintings is his witty and creative use of visual and literary puns, at times light hearted and jesting while at other moments offering more contemplative reflections on more serious topics. The artist sets up clues in which the viewer is free to piece together narratives within the work. Using symbols and shapes many objects are depicted and placed on a “stage” to illustrate an event in a moment in time. Often other NZ artists are referenced in his works such as, Colin McCahon (“Lake Colin”), pursuits such as tennis ("Double Forehand"), musical instruments (“Fourteen String”), Houses (‘Boundary” and “Home”) or the artist himself, usually in a self deprecating way (“Wound”,” White out”, “The Black eye”).

Other objects become the source of inspiration in this new exhibition for example coffee pots, hand bags and even butterflies. There is a story behind every work and usually a subtle message. The rocking horse depicted in “White out” refers to the artist’s mortgage; the analogy is he is seemingly making no progress on reducing it – going nowhere.

“While the paintings look simple they are painstakingly thought out and executed. They are also both thought provoking and whimsical at the same time”, says Warwick Henderson who has represented Stevens in NZ for over 15 years.

Steven’s paintings are usually small in scale but have a paired back, even sparse feel to them. There are hints of three-dimensional perspective within shapes, a suggestion of a horizon line or references to scale, yet the paintings maintain a shallow pictorial space. Detail is minimal, there is a sense that Stevens is trying to simplify objects down to their most essential forms. Planes of vibrant colour add to the density of the work and this abstraction quickly reminds the viewer that the painting is an enduring object itself and not just a window or a fleeting image to another world. While the brush strokes and gestures are reduced an aura of strength exudes from the simple detail and shapes.

“Stevens is a true artist dedicated 100% to his career and he has always kept his prices very reasonable to enable all who appreciate his work to be in a position to acquire one” says Henderson.

If you would like to smile go and view this exhibition at the Warwick Henderson Gallery in Parnell.

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