Stephen Baker - After Hours
Modern Times is pleased to announce our upcoming solo exhibition for Melbourne artist Stephen Baker. 'After Hours' extends Baker's signature trajectory: translating familiar scenes and imagined narratives into abstract geometrical compositions.
Paintings from his upcoming show. Left: 'After Hours - Palette 2. Right: 'An Evening In' - Palette 1
"In recent years I've learnt to focus on the process of creation and not just the final result," explains Baker, who carries his sketchbook with him everywhere he goes. Working from Collingwood's Everfresh Studios, Baker explores his urban surroundings on foot—finding inspiration around every corner. In bars and cafes, Baker sits and sketches—not only his physical surroundings but also the stories they evoke. A feeling of escapism (in the filmic sense) permeates the work. Brooding interiors; the mood evoked by a room; a sense that there's something unfolding just beyond view.
Stephen's paintings are first imagined as sketches. Photo by Brooke James.
Returning to the studio, Baker brings his sketches to life by re-imagining them as a series of geometric shapes. He adds colour using a palette arranged from Pantone reference books.
Inside Stephen's worksapace at the Everfresh Studios in Collingwood. Photo by Brook James
Each is mixed and matched by eye before being applied to canvas or board."To me, these scenes only come to life once the bold lines are applied, providing divisions between the colours." It's an exacting process that results in an aesthetic both distinctive and familiar.
Paintings from his upcoming show. Left: 'Smoking' - Part 1. Right: 'Smoking' - Part 2
That familiarity might arise partly from Baker’s quickly rising star. Coveted on tote bags and double tapped on Instagram, his pared-back shapes, colours and lines have also recently entered the public realm in the form of Fitzroy Pool’s newly beloved mural, ‘Pool Parade’.
Stephen in front of the Fitzroy Pool mural. Photo by Brook James
Put the opening night in your diary - we would love for you to join us!
'After Hours' opens 6-8pm Thursday 23rd April – kindly sponsored by Vale Brewing.
Exhibition dates 23rd April – 10th May
For catalogue requests and pre-sales click here!