In our continuing program of bringing the best of contemporary painting to St. Louis, the Philip Slein Gallery is proud to announce our upcoming exhibition Variations featuring the work of three New York painters, Arnold Helbling, Stephen Ellis, and Valerie Jaudon.
The opening reception will take place on May 17th from 6 - 8 pm. The show runs through June 29th.
Viewing nature through his singular vision, Arnold Helbling abstracts its forms and renders them with a distinctive palette featuring tones simultaneously soft and lush. These paintings can be read as both representational (microscopic views of cell structure) and as abstract (permutations on a somewhat refashioned grid.) Helbling's touch of brush to canvas both challenges and seduces the viewer.
Stephen Ellis has been a staple of New York School painting for over thirty years. His work is bold and assertive, often with multiple layers which tend to work against a singular reading of the canvas. Yet this work is rendered with complete assurance by a hand that understands full well the attitudes and history of the New York School and expands the canon.
Valerie Jaudon makes work so exquisitely crafted that it almost belies its place in a field where "expression" is often defined by an emotional use of the brushstroke. Her brushstrokes do indeed carry emotion, but they are controlled by a rigorous attention to the formal elements of the painting's structure and thus the viewer must approach the canvas with an inquiring eye to become fully engaged. It is this formality which allows Jaudon's work to expand beyond the studio and the canvas to become part of our day-to-day environment. Two such examples of this are the plaza, courtyard, and pool at St. Louis's historic Wainwright Building (1981) and the design of Filippine Garden (2004), the park immediately in front of the Thomas F. Eagleton Courthouse.