John Stephan, 1974

"I am intrigued by the primacy that
this austere image demonstrates within the space of the canvas"

-John Stephan.

John Stephan
Spheres of Light

Louis Stern Fine Arts, Los Angeles.
9002 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(a favorite gallery in Los Angeles.)

"DURING THESE LAST FIVE OR SIX YEARS, I have been involved in the painting of colored discs that singly occupy the major central area of almost squared, vertical, and other wise colored canvases and which, more often than not, have one or more colored rings separating the one from the other. I draw these discs and their rings with a compass as I am particularly interested in the phenomenon of apparent perfect circularity, whether as seen in nature or through metaphysical contemplation, and in this sense, I see the circle-disc as being the simplest yet most subtle, inherently perfect form (as compared to other forms that an artist or nature might create), and accept its inviolate constancy with the same faith with which artists have accepted the figure, subjects in nature, or any other imaginable image for its formal validity.

For my purposes, I have avoided the use of further devices, either geometric, asymmetric, or expressionistic, as being irrelevant to the basic contentions implied between these two spatial forms, rectangular and circular.

I am, moreover, intrigued by the primacy that this austere image demonstrates within the space of the canvas; it appears to float and hover naturally with sublime disregard for the necessary rationale supporting the straight sides and right angles of the rectangular form with its presumed base.

However, within this adopted duality of space forms, I seek to create, through the use of color, a kind of pictorial metastasis, more contemplative than symbolic and more related to nature than to the formalities of mysticism.

I choose subtle colors above those that are purely chromatic so as to convey the impression of fused color substances, somewhat like the translucency of jade, the colored rings to act as an apposition between these two shapes."

John Stephan, 1970