Rick Stevens was born in Sparta, Michigan and currently lives and works in New Mexico, United States. Stevens studied at Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1982), Kendall School of Design (1979-81) and Grand Rapids Community College, Grand Rapids, Michigan (1977-79).
Rick Stevens’ painting-based practice combines an interest in nature and science, with a mystical approach to abstraction that moves beyond the constraints of direct representation, to produce revelatory expressions of his experiences of the natural world. Working intuitively, Stevens’ work is influenced by Eastern philosophies, the notions of uncertainty and flux associated with Quantum Physics, as well as the Nineteenth Century American writers, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, whose philosophy of Transcendentalism proffered intuition over logic and espoused a deep appreciation for nature.
Exploring the possibilities of colour, light, texture and space, and harnessing the potential of painterly accidents, Stevens has described his working process as a matter of “projecting intention, then letting go of fixed ideas.” He interprets the landscape with varying degrees of abstraction, using a variety of media, including oil paint, oil stick, wax, gold leaf, sand, gauze and burlap. Often working directly in the landscape, to which he attributes a particular energy and intelligence, Stevens has developed a visual vocabulary of shapes and patterns derived from the natural world but which also suggest something beyond the visible.
Raised in an artistic household, Stevens’ artist father introduced him to landscape painting from a young age. A year spent in an isolated cabin in the forests of northern Michigan in 1984 further strengthened his reverence for the sublime energy, ephemerality and mystery of Earth’s fragile ecosystems. Stevens describes his practice as an open window to other realms. Through it, he attempts to make visible the underlying structure of the world around us, merging the tangible with expressions of the imperceptible, and revealing in paint the transcendent energies that engage us all in what Stevens describes as a “never-ending cosmic dance.”
Rick Stevens’ work has been exhibited widely throughout the United States. Retrospectives of his work have been presented at The Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan (2000) and Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, Indiana (1997). In 1988, Muskegon Museum of Art, Michigan, mounted a solo exhibition of Stevens’ work, Realms of Nature: Unfolding Patterns. Other recent solo exhibitions include, Breathing Light, Hunter Squared Gallery, Santa Fe, (2019); Dancing in Paradox, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary, Santa Fe, (2018); Loitering in Mystery, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary, Santa Fe, (2017); Invocations, Exhibit by Aberson, Tulsa, (2016); The Nature of What Arises, Canfin Gallery, Tarrytown, (2015); Wilderness Within, Hunter Kirkland Contemporary, Santa Fe, (2014); Domain Of Intangibles, Mark Gallery, Englewood, (2013).
Stevens’ work is included in public and corporate collections throughout the United States and internationally, including Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine, Las Cruces, U.S.A; Almutiaq Group, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; World Trade Center Hotel, Beijing China; Goldman Sachs, New York, U.S.A; Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso, U.S.A; and Muskegon Museum of Art, MGrand Valley State University, Michigan, U.S.A.
Rick Stevens Limited Edition prints
View our exclusive collection of sought-after, signed and authenticated with artist certification, limited edition prints, which are available through the gallery. All produced in careful guidance of Rick Stevens, using the finest archival materials, acid-free, cotton-based paper, using pigmented inks that faithfully capture the essence of the original works. All prints are limited to an edition size of 50. For further details and to purchase please call or email us at the gallery.
Rick Stevens in Southwest Art Magazine - February 2020 issue
'A Cosmic Dance' is an eight page article in the February 2020 issue of Southwest Art Magazine, written by Bonnie Gangelhoff.
Visits to Rick Stevens studio and into his world. An illuminating read -'I make a mark, a shape, or an application then respond to it, like a jazz trio might improvise and respond to each other' , he said to Editor Bonnie Gangelhoff. For full article click read