|"Iceberg no.3" oil on canvas 12" x 16"|
|"Iceberg no.4" oil on canvas 12" x 16"|
|"Glacier" oil on canvas 12" x 16"|
|"Iceberg no.6" oil on canvas 12" x 16"|
|"Shipwrecked no. 2" oil on canvas 16" x 20"|
Ice, water and wind interact in the frozen seas to create a never ending source of abstract sculpted forms, forms that have obsessed many great artists over the centuries. These icebergs, ice sheets and glaciers are a perfect prompt for Stephanie London's gift of using simple shapes and subtle shifts of value and hue to create spare poignant compositions. Her work also includes more domestic still life paintings that echo this minimalist approach; an empty box, a single flower, a vase, etc.,. And she has a few semi-abstract images on her website based on simple bridge forms. But in the iceberg series her penchant for brooding meditational imagery coalesces into her most powerful work. To me they evoke an emotional state that I think is familiar to most, yet difficult to describe; a sense of welcomed loneliness or sorrow that is not a negative but rather a necessary and possibly even exhilarating process. The unavoidable analogy of the iceberg's hidden depths cannot help but come into play here. What we observe seems simple. But of course it isn't. As in all good craftsmanship, simplicity of form is often the most difficult to achieve. And like our understanding of ourselves or others, the basics of what we observe are so immediate, so fundamental as to require little or no analysis. But beyond that we recognize a profound complexity too vast to fully comprehend. That larger hidden aspect of ourselves, as in the allegorical iceberg, sometimes shifts, forever altering the visible, knowable surface, reshaping it once again into something new, evolving, changing, living.
There's more work on her website: stephanielondon.net though only a few more iceberg pieces. I look forward to seeing more.
Her work can be seen in person in New York city and Bridgehampton NY at Kathryn Markel Fine Arts or in Pasadena CA at Tirage Fine Art Gallery.