Page 1

DAVID STERN

STUDIO VISIT


Ellipsis Art is an art advisory firm that provides a full range of services in art acquisition, collection management, and curatorial advice. Our mission is to create a direct dialogue between collectors and select artists and artists’ estates. By working exclusively with artists and their estates, we create a unique opportunity for collectors to acquire art directly from artists.

ANGELICA SEMMELBAUER / Art Advisor angelica@ellipsis-art.com


DAVID STERN STUDIO IN QUEENS, NY


There has always existed the romanticized notion of an artist’s studio as the stage for his or her creativ In this version, deeply imprinted on our minds, it is easier to see it as a place filled primarily with high in continuous achievement, and soaring triumph when the work is complete.

And while it is indeed a true statement, an artist’s studio is also a place of an unabashedly hard, laborand psychologically-intense work. It is the place where ideas and inspirations gather themselves at a slow pace and the everyday “showing up” to face a blank canvas, is in itself an act of courage. It is these end often filled with self-doubt and struggle for inspiration, along with dedication to that inspiration, that in help create the artist’s works.

It is these tools of hard work that one sees immediately upon entering the studio of David Stern: the t holds a multitude of paint cans, tightly enveloping the countless myriad of oil drips, holding all those years of use as closely as a mother would a child. The paintbrushes of various sizes and thickness with h worn, that I’m sure feel like a perfectly-fit glove in his hand. The small bowls where the oil and pigments a with colors so diverse and vibrant, one feels like he entered a Moroccon bazaar, displaying a variety o spices stimulating the senses.

And then it happens… you see the works - delirious vistas of thickly-applied, abstract oil formations that, o stepping back, begin to slowly and carefully reveal figures within them. As mirages on an endless deser defined by gestural expressive black outlines, as if to bring them fully into view, Stern’s figures simultaneo and push against one another, some support each other in unison, while others invade each other’s spac figures, often in multitude of three or more, are depicted in various strained or physical forms, and rendere titude of colors - some in oil on cotton, others in acrylic and pigments on paper.

Some evoke voluptuous yet abstracted flesh, as in “Woman 2” from the series “Heroes and Graces”, with undercurrent physically present. Some offer glimpses of abundant tension, as in “Black, White and Red”, w black and red paint seem in a constant competitive combat with one another, splicing and gesturing to d space they occupy. The figurative and abstract creating intense ambiguity. As curator, Karen Wilkin, in he sation with David Stern, noted: “That combination of specificity and abstractness is certainly one of th things about your work. It’s like seeing something out of the corner of your eye. The image seems very and yet you haven’t focused on it in a particular way. People seem disconnected from each other, unstab it has something to do with the way the images seem to have coalesced only for the moment and always to dissolve back into patches of paint.”

They all pose an immediate curious question: Who are these people? Where are they heading? The hints series’ titles - “At the Gates”, “Affections”, “Heroes and Graces” - seem to fuel the imagination further.

With eloquence and the endlessly curious mind of this German-born Jewish artist, some of these ans come clear. David Stern incorporates his philosophical thoughts on limitations of a human body, the co the male and female forms - from ancient times to the way we view it today, the Jewish mysticism traditio mythology, and the human condition overall. It is always fascinating to see some of literary inspirations f as words, philosophy and visual art have always been inexplicably intertwined. Some of his favorite boo studio, including “What Painting Is” by James Elkins, are spread around for inspiration. Stern believes that the need for union with another soul outside of ourselves. Whether we are looking at a spiritual or physi the precondition for a successful link, allowing the exchange of the essence of our soul with another, is emphatic emotional state, ‘affection’. Only affection for another being allows us to drop the defense line in the spiritual and physical sense”.

This magnetic ambiguity of the figurative and the abstract; the storytelling and its depiction; the ancient t how they translate to our modern lives; is what makes Stern’s works mesmerizing. You want to know mo is an almost physical pull to enter these works, to become part of their narrative. - Angelica Semmelbauer


ve genius. nspiration,

-intensive w, resolute dless days, n the end

table that days and handles so are mixed, of colorful

only when rt horizon, ously lean ce. These ed in mul-

its sexual where the distort the er converhe striking complete ble. Maybe s threaten

s from the

swers beoncept of ion, Greek for artists, oks in the at “there is ical union, s a certain es of form

truths and ore - there


DAVID STERN Born 1956 in Essen, Germany EDUCATION 1980-82 1975-79 1973-75 1971-73

Art Academy (Kunstakademie), Düsseldorf, Germany University of Applied Sciences and Art, Dortmund, Germany High School for Design (Fachoberschule für Gestaltung), Essen Apprenticeship as Sign Painter at FA Munsteiner, Essen, Germany

COLLECTIONS The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Kupferstich-Kabinett, Dresden, Germany National Museum, Poznan, Poland National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, New York Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, Arkansas Dresdner Bank, Köln, Germany Jacksonville Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, Florida Kingsborough Community College, Brooklyn, New York Kunstsammlung, Universität Göttingen, Germany Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida Shor Yoshuv Institute, Lawrence, New York Skirball Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio Yeshiva University Museum, New York US Embassy, Vienna, Austria Private collections in the United States, Europe and Asia


ANGELICA SEMMELBAUER angelica@ellipsis-art.com

ELLIPSIS ART FOUNDER

ANGELICA SEMMELBAUER Angelica is a Private Art Advisor working with a variety of artists and consulting private clients. She is a member of the NYU Alumni Council and ArtTable, the leadership organization for professional women in the visual arts. 2005 - 2014 Director of Mimi Ferzt Gallery in New York City, which specialized in Russian Non-Conformist and Contemporary Art. Organized important curatorial exhibitions of prominent Russian artists, and successfully placed them in important private and public art collections around the world. 2004, NYU Masters Degree, Visual Arts Administration Published graduate thesis focused on building a sustainable global market for Russian Contemporary Art, tracing Russian art through its various historical movements, from Soviet era to the Russian Non-Conformist Movement, to discussion of today’s contemporary art in Russia. Catalog Design: Lisa Meta Griff, Metamorfize.com Photos: Alexandra Rowley

Profile for EllipsisArt

David Stern - Studio Visit  

David Stern - Studio Visit