“Howlinglight”, 2015, oil on canvas, 71″ x 84″
Stephanie Pierce showed a body of work, Wake, at Steven Harvey Fine Art Projects just last summer. Now Pierce is readying to show a new body of work at Alpha Gallery in Boston with the title Radiant Welter. The exhibit opens April 4th. Here is a choice bit from the press release: ” With meticulously plotted out applications of paint pushing and pulling between figuration and abstraction, Pierce’s work conveys the sensation that materiality becomes elusive the minute we try to pin it down.”
We asked Pierce a few questions about her work, and how she works lately. She was kind enough to reply.
After you read the Q&A below, you know you might want to see more of Stephanie Pierce’s work at her website. You might want to read more about her at the website for the Joan Mitchell Foundation (Pierce received a J.M. Foundation grant last year). or read the longer interview with Pierce that Sam King posted in 2009.
What is the hard part of painting for you?
All of it: getting started, figuring out what to start with, figuring out what is interesting there to be uncovered, figuring out what it’s going to be about, pushing past the obvious things, breaking routines, finding something new, embracing the chaos. Finding something transcendent in observing something so mundane over a long period of time, having patience and faith that something good will eventually happen through the process. Making it matter.
untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 56″x50″
What is the fun part?
When things like color, space, shape, edges, disruptions etc. start to click and echo through the work, and it simultaneously has both an abstract structure but a believability to the light and space. I love getting to the point where the realization of the space has happened, and that I can then begin to let go of things, dissolve, shift, and then make it full of so much at once that it’s overwhelming as an experience to look at. That might not even begin to happen the way I want it to until I’m deeply into the work–about 3/4 of the way through. I really love the last stretch of a painting where everything is moving incrementally, slowly, and intentionally; when I can see it’s finally a painting, rather than the frustration period of many routes taken that haven’t come to fruition as something that matters yet. Pretty much all of my paintings go through that frustration period, some more than others.
“Dandelion”, 2014, oil on canvas over panel, 11 1/2″x 11 1/2″
Mondrian once said, “I don’t want pictures, I want to find things out.” Does that ring true for you or is it more complicated being a painter these days?
It rings so true, yes, it’s far more important to figure things out than to make a picture. I disconnect too easily with making a picture, I shut down if that becomes the goal. When that starts to happen I have to upset everything to create some good problems. I’m really not sure if it’s more complicated being a painter these days…
Thanks, Stephanie! Here are a few more images from the Radiant Welter exhibit:
untitled, 2013, oil on canvas over panel, 19″x19″
“Howl”, 2015, oil on canvas over panel, 11 1/2″x 11 1/2″
untitled, 2015, oil on canvas, 35″ x 30″
untitled, 2015, oil on canvas over panel, 11 1/2″ x 11 1/2″
And, of course, you can read other MWCapacity interviews here
. Or check out a show we curated that included some work by Stephanie Pierce, here