For his first exhibition at fortyfivedownstairs, Stephen Williams continues his exploration of the tree’s role in contemporary art. In a series of multi-panel paintings, trees float in a shifting white space. Evocation and mystery have taken precedence over traditional depiction of landscape elements such as ground and sky.
Stephen’s paintings reference Japanese screens while exploring minimalist responses to flatness and space, form and restrained use of colour. Linkages to abstraction, monochromes, eastern and western artistic traditions are apparent.
These works also explore the symbolic potency and responsive properties of white. Stephen says, in The Sum of All Things, “for me white is an embracing unifying concept linking the masculine and the feminine, energy and stillness, the physical and the metaphysical.”
Image: White #2 (detail), 2012, acrylic on canvas, 1220 x 3960mm