A Portfolio of Ten Collage Works by Berni Stephanus
When studying the figurative
However, the Cubist techniques used, of shifts in spatial scale and angles of perspective, are often so exaggerated that perhaps too much is being expected of the viewer to make the leaps of understanding required to assimilate the image presented in these seemingly piecemeal compositions. A pair of lips where an entire head should be, an amputated head with a gaping mouth wrapped around a woman’s posterior as if to be part of her beach clothing, an arm protruding from a hip, suspended belief is shaken. But still, we DO get it, the parts have an immediate recognition of gestalt that doesn't seem like it should be there. We are left wondering why.
The gestural, spontaneous quality of the
these are perhaps studies for more finished works to be accomplished
canvas giving a feeling of freedom of expression that many
Then I consider the precedents of film and I
where close ups of lips or eyes, sounds, music, flashes of other
moments in time, in rapid succession yield a similar wholeness but move
swiftly that you don't have time to consider it. Films move so fast and
continuously that they can't be studied. Yet, in the memory, there are
impressions fed to the mind that are converted into an experience.
what is found in Stephanus’s
Stephanus doesn't spoon feed us the images like babies who need predigested and highly refined mush. He offers raw experience restated like a clever insider joke in a conversation between old and sophisticated friends. This rawness is evidenced by Stephanus’s gestural style of scissor snipped bits of paper pasted quickly into place to capture a fleeting insight.
The result is a delightful combination of surprising and often challenging compositions that exude confidence, a fine sense of humor and a love for a dada-like irreverent and open eyed exploration and commentary on daily life in the modern world.
It is with great pleasure that we present
ten works generously donated by the artist to the
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