Impressionism in the 21st Century: The visionary work of Stev’nn Hall, through his lens and brush

Prelude No. 8 by Stev'nn Hall
Prelude No. 8 by Stev’nn Hall
DTR Modern Galleries

Stev’nn Hall, the visionary Canadian mixed-media artist, offers an artistic journey where the lines between photography and painting dissolve — where the ethereal allure of waterlilies, the timeless elegance of roses, and the ever-shifting drama of clouds converge in a symphony of color and emotion.

With a masterful fusion of photography and paint, Hall crafts a captivating narrative that transcends conventional artistic boundaries, inviting viewers on a profound voyage of introspection and discovery.

Stev’nn Hall’s journey into the world of art began in rural Ontario, where he grew up with a 35 mm camera in one hand and a paintbrush in the other. His exploration of film, painting, and photography at Concordia University in Montreal laid the foundation for his artistic vision, drawing influences from each discipline.

After a varied career that included directing indie music videos, producing award-winning television promos, and even being featured on Bravo TV network, Stev’nn returned to his painting roots by creating a series of photography and mixed media landscapes.

Taking a brief walk back through history, the combined mediums make for a poetic semblance.

Last Light No. 3 by Stev'nn Hall impressionism
Last Light No. 3 by Stev’nn HallDTR Modern Galleries

The invention of the camera revolutionized the art world, particularly influencing the development of Impressionism in the 19th century. With its ability to capture scenes quickly and accurately, the camera provided a new way of seeing and representing the world. The immediacy and realism of photographic images encouraged painters to explore new techniques and perspectives.

Impressionist artists, such as Claude Monet and Edgar Degas, were fascinated by the camera’s ability to capture fleeting moments and shifting light, inspiring them to experiment with techniques such as rapid brushwork and using light and color to convey atmosphere and emotion.

Today, Stev’nn Hall invites the audience into a world where waterlilies, roses, and clouds converge in a collision of these two distinct mediums: photography and paint. This particular oeuvre showcases Hall’s ability to seamlessly blend these two artistic forms, creating a mesmerizing fusion of visual elements that both honor the realism of photography and transcend into abstract color fields, punctuated by moments of creative intervention.

Within his new exhibit, REFLECTION at DTR Modern Gallery in Washington, DC, waterlilies draw viewers into serene aquatic realms that play with beauty and suggest something dark, perhaps unseen below the surface. Hall’s mastery of photography lends exquisite realism to these aquatic flowers, whereas his deft brushwork pushes the boundaries of abstraction, infusing each image with a vivid emotional depth that invites contemplation of the connections between the natural world and our innermost feelings.

Sacrifice No. 2, Tondo, by Stev'nn Hall
Sacrifice No. 2, Tondo, by Stev’nn HallDTR Modern Galleries

Roses, symbols of love and beauty, find their place within this artistic narrative, transformed by Hall’s dual approach. The collision of photography and paint results in rose depictions that are not merely representations, but also metaphors for the human experience, resonating with the complex interplay of love, loss, and the enduring hope that defines our existence. They, too, possess an air of melancholy and mystery, inviting viewers to explore their depths.

The ever-present and ever-evocative clouds, another theme within REFLECTION, offer a visual dialogue between photography and painting. Hall’s keen eye captures the transient forms of clouds with photographic precision, while his artistic hand employs paint to imbue these skies with an emotional resonance that transcends mere documentation. This collision of mediums within his cloudscapes evokes a sense of wonder and introspection, emphasizing the possibilities that arise through the act of reflection.

In this immersive interplay of photography and paint, Stev’nn Hall offers a fresh perspective on the timeless beauty and emotional depth of the natural world, inviting us to journey through landscapes that evoke both magic and menace. Through his lens, he encourages us to reflect not only on the world around us but also on the intersection of mediums that can create truly transformative art.

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience REFLECTION by Stev’nn Hall at DTR Modern Gallery in Washington DC, opening this Friday, May 17. For more information, visit dtrmodern.com.