Stephanie Pierce / Radiant Welter

While the subjects of Stephanie Pierce’s paintings are mundane—a simple room, a window, a plant, a radio—they are distorted, fragmented, and strewn about in a manner that picks away at their seeming simplicity. As a verb, “welter” means to move in a turbulent fashion. As a noun, it signifies confusion, a chaotic mass, something almost too much to handle. In Pierce’s work, people, objects, light and shadow all seem to be subject to some outside force. 
Within this state of constant shifting, there is a hint at materiality. Things come into being but are altered by the passage of time, the changing light as shadows grow long. With meticulously plotted out applications of paint pushing and pulling between figuration and abstraction, Pierce’s work conveys the sensation that materiality becomes elusive the minute we try to pin it down.
Stephanie Pierce received a B.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston and a M.F.A. from the University of Washington, Seattle. She has exhibited her work widely throughout the U.S. and is included in numerous collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Boston Public Library. In 2014, Pierce received a Painters and Sculptors Grant from the Joan Mitchell Foundation, among many previous honors. Since 2012 she has been a professor of painting at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville. This is Pierce’s second solo exhibition at Alpha Gallery.