STATEMENT

My paintings are an exploration of emotion and logic. I explore texture and color as they are delimited by the blocks and bands that form each painting. I produce a logical, linear structure while I simultaneously seek to strike an emotional chord with texture, light and color. I’m intrigued with the tension developed between the concrete and the intangible - what you can touch and what you can imagine.

The aluminum panels I work with impose an interesting challenge. They add possibilities of light and shimmer. I experience an ongoing dialogue between the sensuousness of painting, the cool industrial feel of the metal and intellectual decisions that present themselves. I see color as an agent of transformation. The interaction of space, movement, and color within the geometric form is key for me.

My desire as a painter is to hold the tension and balance between structure, reason, and intuition – the architect in me and the dancer in me – and to give form to what I cannot name. With paint and substance, I’m trying to build a place where unexpected associations and resonance can occur. The essence of life, its richness, beauty and chaos informs my painting, inspiring me to express the vitality of nature and the rich energy of the urban.

MATERIALS

I have always been attracted to hard surfaces as supports for my work. I chose wood panels to paint on rather then canvas as a base for many years.

I was invited to the Tamarind Institute in New Mexico as a guest artist. While there, I was very drawn to the aluminum plates we used for lithography - when inked and ready to print they had an extraordinary look and feel.

The tough sheen of those plates - the way the ink lay on the surface - the possibilities of quiet shimmer grabbed me. It seemed to dovetail with qualities I have always been interested in. I liked the coolness of aluminum coupled with the warmth of handling. I liked the ability to sand and dig into metal as well as build up - I liked the translucent areas where metal shows through against opaque areas.

Once I got home and back to the studio I began to paint on thin aluminum sheets - painting, sanding, scratching through the paint with tools. I responded differently to the hard metal surface and I liked the results. I came upon panels of honeycomb aluminum and have worked on them exclusively for a number of years. Honeycomb aluminum consists of two flat sheets of aluminum with a honeycomb aluminum structure in between - it makes for a very flat lightweight panel. They are easily hung with a good French cleat system. Honeycomb panels are used in aircraft - as skins for skyscrapers - as the walls in “clean rooms” where computer chips are made - many industrial purposes.

REVIEWS

Scott Shields, Chief Curator, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento
“Stephanie Weber's paintings pulsate. Colors reverberate against one another yet coalesce in a brilliant chromatic whole. Composed of horizontal or vertical stripes and broader fields of color, the apparent simplicity of Weber's current work is deceptive. Her surfaces are worked intensely and are rich in variety. Soft-edged fields of color float atmospherically. Medium-width bands appear abraded, and narrow stripes waver only slightly to avoid the appearance of rigidity. The quietly reflective surfaces of the honeycomb-aluminum panels that the artist uses as a support add luster to this paint layer. These richly pigmented panels of dazzling color converse with themselves and with the viewers who contemplate them.”

Suzaan Boettger, Art Critic and Historian, New York
"Weber intensifies the presence of structure by painting on sheets of aluminum, their open edges revealing a honeycomb network sandwiched between sheets. This support's metal grid signals industrial fabrication, another contrast to the fluid color, and which heightens the sense of a juxtaposition of a classicizing 'yang' and painterly 'yin...' [Weber's] art displays the benefits of years of discriminating making and looking, of being embedded in both history and contemporary culture, yet maintaining her own engagement with a particular luscious order of beauty."

Carole Naggar, Art Critic, New York
"If they were music, her images would be scores; if texture, they would be fine faded rugs or antique weavings; and if films, they would be scissored strips laid out in rows in the editing room... Surface treatment and media vary from one zone to the next: some areas are rich and painterly, leaving brush strokes apparent and recalling Diebenkorn's 'Ocean Park Series' or Oliveira's 'Steles.' Others superpose a thin wash of oil over acrylic, while some are flat, crisp and razor-edged... Yet what could be a disparate patchwork possesses depth and unity... These discordant areas could be termed sensuality and logic, or inside and outside. But like the alchemist or romantic poet, Weber knows how to make ideas physical."

Stephanie Weber lives and works in Berkeley, California. Her paintings are executed on honeycomb aluminum.

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