È un Punto di Partenza (It is a Starting Point)
Private view: Tuesday 12 November, 6-8.30pm
Exhibition runs: 13 November – 13 December 2019
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday 11am-5pm or by appointment
Image: Ian Stephenson, courtesy of Kate Stephenson
For the final exhibition of 2019, Chelsea Space presents a solo show of the work of Ian Stephenson. A highly influential artist of the sixties and seventies, Stephenson was known for his abstract paintings constructed from thousands of tiny dots of paint, each mark distinctive to the eye, gradually layered to form larger areas of density and depth that floated over surfaces, whether canvas or paper.
A former tutor on the MA painting course at Chelsea School of Art, (1959-89), Stephenson studied under Sir Lawrence Gowing at Kings College Newcastle (1951-56), to become a Studio Demonstrator on the ‘Basic Course’, the now iconic experiment in art education founded by the artists Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton. In turn, Stephenson’s teaching methods influenced the careers of a younger generation of artists including Sean Scully, Christopher Le Brun PRA, Patrick Caulfield, Helen Chadwick, Rita Donagh, James Latter, Michael Moon, Mali Morris and James Hugonin.
This exhibition focuses on a series of collages by Stephenson, commenced when travelling through Italy, in 1959 on a Boise Scholarship with his wife Kate Brown, a fellow student. The works, selected by Kate, reflect the influences they both experienced abroad, and the transitions they would then make into their adult careers, as artists, and educators.
Ian Stephenson RA (1934-2000) studied Fine Art and was awarded a first-class BA in 1956 from Durham University. He had his first show in London at the New Vision Centre in 1958, with a solo show at The New Art Centre in 1962. Stephenson also exhibited across Europe and in the UK including major solo exhibitions at the Laing Art Gallery (1970); the Hayward Gallery (1977) and at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery in 1978. His work is in the collections of Tate, Arts Council, Whitworth Art Gallery, British Council and the Fitzwilliam Museum amongst many others.Stephenson’s work was selected by Antonioni to be included in his seminal film Blow-Upof 1966. Most recently, Stephenson’s work has been the subject of exhibitions at Roche Court in both 2005 and 2018, and a retrospective at the De La Warr Pavilion in 2006 which toured to The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art.
Ian Stephenson’s work is also on permanent display at the Watchtower Gallery, Berwick upon Tweed which is run by Kate Stephenson.