Monday, April 6, 2009


Artist Statement

On Depicting Objects
I am making non-objective paintings again after years of using objects as compositional devices in sparse paintings. In those earlier pieces, I placed a single object against an ambiguous space, defined loosely by a basic line for a horizon. These compositions reminded me of musical compositions and how placing a single note in the right spot can make or break a piece. So I decided to trade concrete things like chairs and shoes for fields of color and explore how these fields interact with shapes to keep the focus on composition, mark making, rhythms, and the marking of time.  

On Music
My new work is largely indebted to composers who have been categorized as minimalists. Like minimalists in the visual arts, these composers have created deep, complex works through what may seem to be very simplistic means. Like these musicians, I am just as interested in what is left out of a work as what is included. Composers like Morton Feldman, David Lang, Gy├Ârgy Ligeti, Steve Reich, and Brian Eno influence my work equally if not more than visual artists.

On Titles 
I often use song lyrics that I find interesting when naming a piece, and I keep a list of phrases and songlines for future use. While the naming usually comes when the piece is almost done or completely finished, I always reflect on the composer in mind right from the beginning. This helps me structure the work, and I often include the composer’s name in the title for a frame of reference. None of these works are invocative of a single piece of music. They reflect a more general understanding of a composer’s work, though they may be reflective of a certain period.

On Scale 
I feel most comfortable painting human sized, generally between 5 to 8 feet. This size is not meant to overwhelm, but as Rothko said, to create an intimacy with the viewer. My intention is that the work be big enough to capture attention while inviting the viewer to get closer and start a personal dialogue with the piece. I equate the size I use to a contemporary musical composition of about 10 minutes—long enough to develop thoroughly but short enough to fit on a program of more established concert pieces. I do make some very small pieces, etudes, that act as trials for larger ideas.


Recent Work- Visit for complete portfolio

I Read Somewhere That Every Wall's a Door (Ligeti) 72" x 96"

Into the Arms of the Air (Glass) 36" x 36"


Stephen Boocks

(240) 753-2724


Solo Shows

1992-Con:text; University Gallery, Norfolk, VA (With Lori Anne Foster now Boocks)
1990- Images From the New World Order; University Gallery, Norfolk, VA
1989- Freedom, Longing and Existence (Drawings); Pungo Gallery, Tidewater Community College, Virginia Beach , VA
1988- Mench: Feind der Umwelt; There Gallery, Norfolk, VA

Selected Group Shows

2012- Something and Nothing (Activating the Void), McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA- Curated by J. W. Mahoney
2012- Artomatic, Crystal City, VA
2011- artomatic@Frederick, Frederick, MD
2010- 12 X 12, gallery, Hyattsville, MD
2010-41st Annual Laurel Arts Guild Juried Show, Montpelier Arts Center, Laurel, MD- Curated by Michael Janis
2010- Lust, Cheryl Edwards Gallery, Hyattsville, MD- Curated by Cheryl Edwards, Jesse Cohen
2009- Patron Member Show, gallery, Hyattsville, MD
2009- Twelve Angry Women; The Soundry, Vienna, VA- Curated by: Lauren Kotkin, Amanda Jiron-Murphy, Melissa Branin, LisaMarie Adams, Jennifer Crawford, Veronica Szalus, Shauna Lee Lange, Teresa Ahmad, Sara Minarik Applegate, Janet Rems, Lee Lovelace, Darlene Howell
2009- Artomatic, Washington, DC
1993- Fresh Paint; Praha Gallery, Norfolk, VA- Curated by Stephen Boocks
1992- Irene Leach Memorial Exhibition; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA- Curated by Thomas Sokolowski
1991- Juried Exhibition; Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA- Curated by Tom Armstrong
1990- Juried Exhibition; Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA- Curated by Donald Kuspit
1988- Juried Exhibition; Peninsula FIne Arts Center, Newport News, VA- Curated by Barry Walker
1987- Juried Exhibition; Virginia Beach Arts Center, Virginia Beach, VA
1985- Juried Exhibition; Virginia Beach Arts Center, Virginia Beach, VA
1984- Irene Leach Memorial Exhibition; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA- Curated by Willam Olander
1983- Juried Exhibition; Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA- Curated by Ted Potter

Shows Curated
2011- Material World: artdc gallery, Hyattsville, MD
1992- Fresh; Praha Gallery, Norfolk, Va
1993- Solid: Praha Gallery, Norfolk, VA

1989-1992 Old Dominion Universty, Norfolk, VA (B.F.A.)
1984-1985 Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC

1992-1993 Founder, Co-director, Chief Curator, Praha Gallery, Norfolk, VA
2009-, Patron Member

Art Matters, Teresa Annas (Irene Leach Memorial Exhibition review), Virginian-Pilot, August 1992
Art Matters, Teresa Annas (Sam Sebren at Praha Gallery) Virginian-Pilot, March 1993