Torso and limbs, movement and thrust, Eric Stephenson’s sculptures unfold origami like into human forms filling the space, and then they seem caught, suddenly frozen like dancers in an action photograph. Some figures seem to physically unfold, while others seem to emerge organically, like emergence 11 or torus, from an older form, shedding the remnants of an industrial past and its language, as they morph into lifelike figures. They are a strong presence with a quality of humanness about them.
I sometimes think that if I took this body of work and arranged it on a stage you would have an incredible ballet like scene: balanced and beautiful figures, all in motion, all with a sense of strength and integrity. They move forward and upward, they leap and run and jump and yet they are solid and beautiful and still, all in relation to each other. They could be one work or many, all in the same language of movement and grace and poise. They depend on each other and fit together yet they stand alone like human beings.
Beyond the composition there is the craftsmanship, the skill of the artist: the attention to detail, the fabrication, the ornamentation and texture, and more than anything else the beautiful patinas show the depth of Eric Stephenson’s skill and training. It is obvious that he has mastered his material and his language in these sculptural forms.
Eric Stephenson has much to say about evolution, form, industrialization, motion, strength, and silence. He speaks with a voice as solid and strong as his work. His vision has the same integrity as his skill and it does not wander or digress. There is a mental clarity amid the complexity of these sculptures that make them peaceful and enjoyable on a deep level. I look forward to what is to come from such an accomplished artist as he explores the depth of his language and vision.