"My images have no subject, but refer to both material and conscious states of being. They aim to capture the mystery, spaciousness, and rich imperfect beauty of the natural world and reflect that all matter is interconnected and subject to the dispassionate pressure of time."
Abbey Stace was born in Philadelphia in 1970. She grew up spending large amounts of time walking through woods, collecting items for terrariums, and developing an intense love of nature, space and quiet. In school she studied psychology, art and science, eventually applying to medical school. A stint in the morgue at the Brigham and Women’s hospital convinced her that she preferred drawing the anatomy to dissecting it. She began drawing and painting in earnest with a focus on the figure and portrait.
Abbey interrupted her practice to raise two children which has resulted in a dramatic shift in perspective. Raising children gave her an appreciation for how many influences contribute to our experience and how much of what happens to us is the result of luck. While her early work had focused on realistic rendering, a new appreciation for chance operations and a curiosity regarding the interplay of natural forces has shifted her focus to an investigation into materials and abstraction.
A year-long post-baccalaureate program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art helped solidify Abbey’s new direction into abstraction. Her current practice incorporates concepts such as impermanence, gravity, polarity, interconnectedness and complementarity. Through these works, she explores the interactions of opposing materials, enjoys the unpredictable turns of her process and the contemplative nature of the resulting images. Abbey lives and works in Philadelphia, PA.
This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist