erica jon stephens: grapefruit sunrise
February 17 - March 30, 2024
Ro2 Art is very excited to present Grapefruit Sunrise, an exhibition of new paintings by Dallas-based artist Erica Stephens. The exhibition will open February 24, 2024 and remain on view through March 30, 2024, at Ro2 Art Gallery, located at 2606 Bataan St., Dallas, TX, with an opening reception to be held February 24 from 7-10pm.
In Grapefruit Sunrise, Erica Jon Stephens explores themes of loneliness and femininity through subtly surreal still-life paintings, collages, and fabric works. Playing with vivid colors and whimsical shifts in scale, Stephens’ tablescapes conjure simultaneous feelings of joy and grief, contentedness and solitude, irony and sentimentality. In one painting, a solitary lobster lays on a blue plate, appearing unusually small next to a robust grapefruit, cut in half, and a towering vase full of curiously flat, mauve flowers. Adding another uncanny element, Stephens uses richly saturated colors, including warm purples, pinks, and reds contrasted against glints of blues and greens. Loneliness is suggested by the absence of a figure seated at the table, and yet there is a strong sense of radiant tranquility, and even humor, in both color choice and composition. Through her own lens of womanhood, Stephens’ exhibition Grapefruit Sunrise examines loneliness, fantasy, and memory in emotionally and psychologically charged still lives.
About the Artist
Erica Stephens is an interdisciplinary artist working in painting, sculpture, installation, and writing. Her work often combines art historical references with elements from the US southern craft traditions that her matriarchs excelled in.
She completed her MFA at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles, California, where she was granted both the First and the Second Year Graduate Scholarships and was elected by her cohorts as the Class Marshal of the Otis MFA Class of 2007. During her time at Otis, she returned to her passion for literature and regularly attended graduate writing lectures to hear visiting authors speak about their work.
Erica Stephens is represented by RO2 Art Gallery. She lives in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, where she also maintains her studio. She published her first collection of poetry in early 2020 in conjunction with a solo painting show. She is a full-time Visual Arts professor at Dallas College and also teaches private personal enrichment courses in creative writing, studio art, art history, and the humanities.
In Grapefruit Sunrise, multi-disciplinary artist Erica Stephens presents paintings, collages, and fabric works that speak to experiences of loneliness through the lens of womanhood. The works have a subtle sense of fantasy to them, and they strike a graceful balance between joy and grief, and humor and raw genuine emotion. As with her previous work, she continues to explore the relationship between high art and craft as a feminist space.