Gary Stephan

08.26.12 – 10.06.12

devening projects + editions is very pleased to invite you to the opening of The Story of What Happens, an exhibition of new works on paper by NY artist Gary Stephan. In his second exhibition with the gallery, Gary Stephan presents—for the first time—over 100 works on paper produced over that last two years. Please join us for the opening reception on Sunday, August 26th from 4-7, meet Gary Stephan and celebrate the opening of our fall season.

For the past two years, Gary Stephan has buoyed his painting practice by producing medium-sized works on paper, usually in acrylic; the series now numbers over 150. Working daily to coax out some new way to distill form and perception through abstraction, Stephan uses the medium to charge his thinking and exercise his extensive practice. The results are surprisingly casual; the work is deft of touch and always evocative. Light is factor; temperatures shift and atmosphere comes into play. Rarely bright, these pieces reflect the dusky evenings of New York and the filtered light of his studio in upstate New York. That light is enhanced by some refreshingly new chromatic episodes, but almost always, the intensity of the color is tempered and reminiscent of his larger canvases. The visual elements in each composition never sit easily within an organic/geometric marker, but require the viewer to find some other reference for the events taking place in front of them. There are grids, rectangles and shapes that orient to the edge, but they seem important mostly to reference the plane. The real work comes from those parts that move in to destabilize those anchors. “Things” move in front of and behind these planes, and like every other work Stephan has made since the early 80s, the actual spatial position of those things is suspect. There are edges everywhere, but they’re slippery and rarely denote what’s expected. You trust these ends to be attached to something greater, something more, but often they linger in place, rarely drifting beyond the flag-point they hold to note a place. At other times, a thing may reveal itself as connected and you begin to realize the story is extended beyond what you thought initially. The phenomenology of these effects comes in part from how the parts of each work are simultaneously solid and porous; the physicality of form is fugitive, shifting opacities and densities. Stephan’s devices work to disarm our understanding of how a thing moves across and from front to back. Our eyes seek and track. Paint makes that happen; Stephan’s hand does that and it does it over and over again.

Gary Stephan’s mark is also worth discussion. As a painter deftly familiar with his medium and its properties, Stephan builds the work less as a sequence of gestures but more as series of resolute proclamations. The stated fact of each move declares not just the evidence of his hand, but a decisiveness that makes it real matter, even if that matter creates perceptual conundrums. There is an uncanny combination of certainty and elusiveness in this work making this a noteworthy project. The beauty of this series comes from its alive-ness; the actuality of material and perceptual fact brings it into the world and places it firmly among us.

Two people look into a field in which is a big green tree. One asks the other “what is that about?” The tree is not about something; it is something. All of the decisions in this show from the pencil lines, to the distances, the paper and the images are to be seen. It is the seeing and the seen that is something. The story of what happens.
Gary Stephan 2012

Gary Stephan has been showing his painting and sculpture since the late sixties in the United States and Europe. He has had solo shows in New York at Bykert Gallery, Mary Boone Gallery, Hirschl and Adler and Marlborough Gallery; in Los Angeles at Margo Leavin Gallery and Daniel Weinberg Gallery; and in Berlin at Galerie Kienzle and Gmeiner among many others. His work can be found in the collections of The Guggenheim Museum of Art, The Metropolitan and the Museum of Modern Art, as well as museums nationwide. He is the recipient of awards from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation and the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches in the MFA program at School of Visual Arts in NYC and is currently represented by Kienzle Art Foundation in Berlin. Gary Stephan lives and works in New York City and Stone Ridge, NY.

On Saturday, September 22nd at 3:00, Gary Stephan will join noted poet and critic John Yau in a conversation about The Story of What Happens. The event will take place in the gallery and is part of the 2012 Gallery Weekend Chicago events.

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 16 × 12 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic on paper, 17 × 13 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic on paper, 24 × 18 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 12 × 16 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic on paper, 15.5 × 12 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 18 × 14 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic, tape on paper, 7.5 × 13.5 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    acrylic on paper, 14 × 19 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 17 × 12 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 20 × 15 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic on paper, 22 × 18 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 18 × 13 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 16 × 12 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled

    acrylic on paper, 16 × 12 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic on paper, 20 × 14 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2011)

    acrylic on paper, 15 × 20 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Untitled (2012)

    acrylic on paper, 12 × 16 inches

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation View (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation View (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation View (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation View (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation View (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation view (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation view (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation view (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation view (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation view (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

  • Gary Stephan

    Installation view (August 2012)

    From the series The Story of What Happens, devening projects + editions

Current

K.R.F.

05.14.17 – 06.17.17

Archive

Jason Karolak

Slow Talkers

04.02.17 – 05.06.17

offspace

Melissa Pokorny

Call If You Need Me

04.02.17 – 05.06.17

offspace

Paul Erschen

Cloven

02.19.17 – 02.25.17

Sean Sullivan

Sunset, Saudade Station

02.19.17 – 03.26.17

Peggy Casey

Gun Shadows

01.08.17 – 02.11.17

Matt Phillips

Yard Sale

10.30.16 – 12.17.16

offspace

Steve Reber

copy, fax… cut and paste

10.30.16 – 12.17.16

offspace

Allison Wade

Know Better

08.28.16 – 10.15.16

Alain Biltereyst

Not Just Because

08.28.16 – 10.15.16

Christine Tarkowski

Chthonic Void

04.03.16 – 05.14.16

Mike Andrews

The Friends and Family Plan

02.21.16 – 03.26.16

offspace

Conrad Bakker

Untitled Project: Still Life / Style Leaf

02.21.16 – 03.26.16

offspace

Turquoise Sunset

01.10.16 – 02.13.16

Scott Wolniak

To Break is to Build

01.10.16 – 02.13.16

offspace

Amy Yoes

Structurals and Sightlines

11.01.15 – 12.12.15

Christopher Michlig

To Everyone

11.01.15 – 12.12.15

Bradley Biancardi, Austin Eddy, Annie Hémond Hotte, Shara Hughes and Tracy Thomason

08.30.15 – 10.17.15

offspace

Steven Husby

myotherisanother

04.26.15 – 06.13.15

Jessie Mott

What Creature Deserves Such Devotion

04.26.15 – 06.13.15

Cody Tumblin

Tell Tale

03.15.15 – 04.18.15

offspace

Angharad Davies

You Know That As Radiant

03.15.15 – 04.18.15

Leslie Baum + Allison Wade

01.31.15 – 03.07.15

Katy Cowan + Michael Milano

work : work

12.14.14 – 01.25.15

offspace

Monika Bartholomé

Night Walk

10.26.14 – 12.06.14

Aron Gent

Pure Pictures, Perfect Prints

10.26.14 – 12.06.14

offspace

Aaron Carpenter + Philip von Zweck

Cartoons + C.A.B.S.

09.07.14 – 10.18.14

Franziska Holstein

Works on Paper

09.07.14 – 10.18.14

Seth Hunter

held/crushed

07.20.14 – 07.20.14

Mistakes Have Hidden Intention

05.25.14 – 06.28.14

Gerd Borkelmann

Different Every Day

03.09.14 – 04.12.14

offspace

Mike Rea

Exile on Main Street

03.09.14 – 04.12.14

offspace

Felix Malnig

Fringe Area

01.26.14 – 03.01.14

Craig Yu

Phantom Limb

01.26.14 – 03.01.14

Peter Fagundo

Model Questions for the Sun, the See and Other Things…

12.15.13 – 01.18.14

offspace

Sofia Leiby

The Drama of Leisure

12.15.13 – 01.18.14

Nathaniel Robinson

The Sensible Range

10.20.13 – 12.07.13

offspace

Alain Biltereyst

09.08.13 – 10.12.13

Sterling Lawrence

If I Plucked You from the Sea

09.08.13 – 10.12.13

Matt Rich

Razors & Vapors

04.28.13 – 06.08.13

offspace

Vincent Hawkins

Flying Suit

03.17.13 – 04.20.13

Nancy Ford

Land Loping

03.17.13 – 04.20.13

Rainer Spangl

UUUUU

02.03.13 – 03.09.13

offspace

Shit is Real

new editions by Chicago artists

02.03.13 – 03.09.13

offspace

Nick Ostoff

Tracing

12.16.12 – 01.26.13

Allison Wade

The Rest of the More

12.16.12 – 01.26.13

offspace

Julia Hechtman

10.14.12 – 12.08.12

Christopher Michlig

10.14.12 – 12.08.12

offspace

Michael Pfisterer

08.26.12 – 10.06.12

Gary Stephan

08.26.12 – 10.06.12

06.10.12 – 07.21.12

Jin Lee

04.22.12 – 06.02.12

offspace

Dorothee Joachim + Richard Roth

04.22.12 – 06.02.12

I Surrender

03.11.12 – 04.14.12

offspace

Alexander Valentine

01.29.12 – 03.03.12

Joshua Abelow

Songs from a Room

01.29.12 – 03.03.12

Mark Booth

The Sea is Represented by an Irregular Shape

12.11.11 – 01.21.12

offspace

Scott Fortino

Unfurl

12.11.11 – 01.21.12

offspace

Andreas Karl Schulze

10.16.11 – 12.03.11

Evidence of the Material World

10.16.11 – 12.03.11

offspace

Sound & Vision

08.28.11 – 10.08.11

Volker Saul

Rough Cuts

08.28.11 – 10.08.11

Leslie Baum

The eyes have it or how to win a staring contest with a monster

05.22.11 – 07.02.11

offspace

Works on Paper

05.22.11 – 07.02.11

offspace

MultipleMix

01.30.11 – 03.19.11

Andreas Fischer + Melissa Pokorny

Kabinett 5

01.30.11 – 03.19.11

Britta Bogers, Mark Holmes, Jered Sprecher

Kabinett 4

12.05.10 – 01.22.11

Dana DeGiulio, Marie T Hermann, Anders Ruhwald

Kabinett 3

10.24.10 – 11.27.10

Richard Rezac + Gary Stephan

Kabinett 1 + 2

08.29.10 – 10.16.10

Paul Cowan + Matt Stolle

Causality without Cause

07.18.10 – 08.15.10

offspace

Wheatstone Stereoscope

07.18.10 – 08.15.10

Skies in Between

05.23.10 – 07.08.10

offspace

Berlin Drawings

05.23.10 – 07.08.10

offspace

Visceral Geometries

04.11.10 – 05.18.10

Nathaniel Robinson

de facto

04.11.10 – 05.18.10

Peter Otto

The Lodger

03.07.10 – 04.09.10

offspace

Heiner Blumenthal

A Hand-off Between

01.31.10 – 03.01.10

Rodney Carswell

hither and yon (little prisons)

01.31.10 – 03.01.10

Home Wreckage

Subversive Musings on Domestic Ideals

12.06.09 – 01.24.10

offspace

Time, Trauma, Drama and Rhyme

12.06.09 – 01.24.10

Dagmar Varady

Redden

10.18.09 – 12.01.09