In The Vanishing Hall

My fundamental inclination as a painter, for as long as I can recall, has been to invest the work with a theatrical sense of psychological presence; and this continues to be the case. Over time [and also because I have no parochial views to speak of], there have been a good number of variations in emphasis with respect to other levels of meaning; for example, in terms of a sense of historical perspective, or in examining the relative meaning of images. But throughout, my central preoccupation has been a response to the case that most people look at painting with certain expectations about the derivation of meaning; the real significance of which is that it is one of the ways that people reflect on their own lives. My particular approach in responding to this resides not in rational explication, but in painterly terms more akin to the realm of music or poetry, where notwithstanding certain clear parameters, one finds one’s own way in.

At this time, my work is focused on the transitory nature of experience. in the vanishing hall, which is where all of us are, invokes this phenomenon. The paintings serve as an envoy to the viewer, an induction to contemplation and reverie; to dream into one’s life through the painting. The invented imagery and characteristic light convey the possibility of an event of idiosyncratic recognition. Because my paintings are not narrative, illustrational or didactic, I can most appropriately discuss my work in the more abstruse terms of its intended effect on the viewer. My paintings address memory and desire, presence and absence. There is a tone to such musings, a quiescent ravishment, an acute sensation, innocent and erotic, acerbic, sardonic, of great pathos, of great beauty and entirely unsentimental. The paintings intone sensation, and in this way extend their invitation to enter the picture.

Stephanie Rose, Albany Institute of History & Art, May, 2007