You Are My Favorite Work of Art at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts

by | Feb 24, 2024 | Blog post

Kathryn Markel Fine Arts is excited to share their current exhibition of new paintings by Peter Stephens, titled “You Are My Favorite Work of Art. It will be the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery and will be held at the gallery’s 179 10th Avenue location. The show will run through March 23, 2024.

Stephens approaches both the titles of his paintings and exhibition with a playful lightheartedness. “You Are My Favorite Work of Art” is a nod to Chet Baker’s “My Funny Valentine,” and each painting is titled directly or indirectly from names given to colors by the commercial paint industry. These titles are sometimes amusing, usually evocative, seldom profound, often a bit sexy, and even a little head scratching at times. 

The paintings are produced entirely freehand atop an underlying grid of commercial paint samples. He then approaches and explores color relationships with acrylic paint, line by line. In this body of work, Stephens finds himself especially focused on the phenomenon of optical color blending and subtleties of modulations. His freehand process is integral to the perception of these effects – they appear as the paintings develop. 

While there is an intuitive discovery that happens during Stephens’ process, there are deliberate references that contribute to a tapestry of rich cultural histories. Textile and mosaic references are clear, and within each painting there are vignettes that evoke places, time, memories, and emotions.

Peter StephensPeacock, 2022