Stephanie Shank is an abstract expressionist painter who exhibits with galleries throughout the U.S.A. Exposed to the world of painting while a young girl, she watched in fascination as her mother, an oil painter who studied with Max Beckman and Philip Guston, expressively applied vivid hues and bold brushstrokes to the canvas. From those closely observed sessions, the intense passion to paint took hold of her.

Born in St. Louis, MO, she studied painting at Lindenwood College in St. Charles, Missouri and the University of Missouri in Kansas City where she received her B.F.A. in 1976. The following decade, she applied her creative talents practically through commercial art and window display design for department stores. Those years were punctuated with independent studies with influential mentors and workshops. She relocated to the desert Southwest in the late 80’s where the stunningly clear light of the Arizona environs illuminated and informed the brilliant hues of her expressionistic paintings. To expand her visceral experiences, she divides her studio time between Tucson, Arizona and Portland, Oregon. Working in mixed media, predominately acrylic, oil sticks, and charcoal, her artistic vision expresses the vibrant rhythms of the inner narrative. She is indebted to the Abstract Expressionist action painters, particularly Joan Mitchell, Willem de Kooning, and Franz Kline.

My paintings are very accessible on a purely aesthetic level, but they touch on deeper issues if you allow yourself some time to absorb the imagery. My vision ranges from the literal to the conceptual, from abstract landscape paintings to figurative expressionism. I typically don’t represent any of the elements of nature faithfully. The images are meant to touch the subconscious mind of the viewer, evoking a primal feeling and capturing a universal visual language. By painting with a spontaneous, gestural expression, my work informs a dynamic impression of raw emotion and the power of now.

Clearly, we are not born psychologically integrated, but become so through effort and growth. Our shadow side and our light side must learn to coexist. A certain consciousness of the split is part of being human. For me, this consciousness and process has been the life force of my expressionist aesthestic. My intent is to sustain an authentic vision and identity; my desire is to continue to create paintings that emotionally charge one out of normal habits of seeing. Color will always evoke a realm of feeling and memory for me. Through the language of color, non-referential mark-making, and gestural paint handling, my abstract expressionist paintings represent a culmination of an emotional experience relating to a balance between lightness and darkness, agitation and bliss. There is always some evidence of what came before, always uncertainty and inevitable change. In essence, the paintings are constructed as organically and irrationally as life itself.

Exhibitions

2016   Group Exhibition – “Winter Group Show”, Butters Gallery, Portland OR

2016   Four Person Exhibition – The ART Show, Blue Print Store, Dallas, TX

2015   Four Person Exhibition – The ART Show, Blue Print Store, Dallas TX

2014   Solo Exhibition – “Beckonings and Reckonings”, Pippin Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe NM

2014   Solo Exhibition – “Inner Impulse”, Costello-Childs Contemporary Gallery, Scottsdale AZ

2013   Solo Exhibition – “Underneath Anew”, Pippin Contemporary Gallery, Santa Fe NM

2012   Solo Exhibition – “Abstract to Linear”, William and Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe NM

2011   Small Works Invitational – Costello Childs Contemporary Gallery, Scottsdale AZ

2011   Solo Exhibition – “Between the Lines”, William and Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe NM

2010   Solo Exhibition – “Divine”, William and Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe Gallery NM

2009   Dove Mountain Project, “The Edge at Canyon Pass”, Tucson AZ

2009   Solo Exhibition – “Beginnings”, William and Joseph Gallery, Santa Fe NM

2008   Two Person Exhibition – “Balancing Entropy and Order”, Grogan Gallery, Tucson AZ

2006   Three Person Exhibition – Platform Gallery, Tucson AZ

2005   Group Exhibition – “Out of the Blue”, Liz Hernandez Gallery, Tucson AZ

2005   Group Exhibition – “Mixed Bag”, Liz Hernandez Gallery, Tucson AZ

2004   Two Person Exhibition – “Earth, Wind, and Faces”, Liz Hernandez Gallery, Tucson AZ

2003   Small Works Invitational – Davis Dominquez Gallery, Tucson

Select Collections

University of Arizona Cancer Center at Dignity Health, Phoenix, Arizona

University of Missouri-St. Louis

Bruker-Nano Corporation, Tucson, Arizona

Bruker-Nano Corporation, Santa Barbara, California

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Tucson, Arizona

Joan Cauthorn, Tucson, Arizona

Paul Dumont, Manhattan, New York

Jack and Susanna Quinn, Washington DC

Suzanne Roonie, Washington DC

Dr. Holly Ahner, Tucson, Arizona

Dr. Harry Goldwasser, Tucson, Arizona

Barry Gold, NYC, New York

Publications

 2015   Luxe Magazine, spring edition

2015   Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, February

2015   Inside Homes, Washington Life Magazine, March

2014  “Stephanie Shank’s New Work in Beckonings and Reckonings”, 24-7 Press Release

2014   Trend Magazine, Santa Fe NM

2014   Art Ltd., July/August

2014   THE Magazine, August, Santa Fe NM

2011   Ralph Lauren’s online Luxe magazine

2011   Santa Fean, The Art Issue

2011   Niche Magazine

2010   Santa Fean, Beginnings by Dianna Delling

2010   Santa Fean, Venus by Mendy Gladden

2010   Pasatiempo, Santa Fe NM

2009   Santa Fe Reporter