Stephen Simons "Proscenium Series"
March 3 — April 2, 2005

An opera begins with a pause. The curtain rises and everything is revealed in perfect silence. All the elements of the stage are filled with anticipation, implication and presence. Stephen Simons’ latest still life paintings depict this brief moment of stillness. Placing vessels, bowls, and tools against a textured and detailed backdrop, Simons creates a stage. The objects and the backdrop each play a role to build a relationship between geometry, space, light and paint. The backdrop settings become integral components in the creation of atmosphere. Inspired by his teaching experiences in Europe, Simons imbues his backgrounds with texture and color reminiscent of the Italian masters. In the foreground, an object’s importance is not how it looks, but how it reacts within the setting. Each individual component builds a collective whole. Simons writes, “I work with the hope that one day there will be a point when I stop, look at the painting and it has achieved wholeness; it is complete and alive.”