Noted art critic Peter Schjedahl once wrote that Gary Stephan’s work provides timely grist to the timeless mill of the soul. Exhibiting since the late 1960s, Stephan traffics in an idiosyncratic abstraction that is free from declarative statements as to what the painting should be, what it should mean, or what it expresses. Instead, his pieces vacillate, suggest, and undermine, as Stephan gradually eliminates the illusion of space. As the artist has stated, “the adjustment of pictorial ideas and material ideas, in a kind of contaminated way where there’s no purity of the argument, is what I have always been interested in pursuing.”
His work has been exhibited at institutions including the Drawing Center, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Whitney Museum.