Stephen Jaques is an abstract painter working in London and a member of APT Studios whose ‘works are mysterious super structures, oscillating between refined flatness and illusionary forms floating in deep space’. (Laurence Noga)
To be any kind of artist requires considerable dedication and stamina. In this electronically obsessed age to be one who pursues a canon of abstract painting which has its roots in the early 20th Century may be regarded as plain backward, out of the step at least. However the fascination with organising flat areas of coloured pigment on rectangles of board or sailcloth still endures. These paintings by Stephen Jaques are evidence that this practice can still support art of high quality. He has “paid his dues” over the past twenty years, producing a body of work that acknowledges the legacies of two modern masters in particular – Klee and Miro’s overt calligraphic influences have gradually transferred to a planar, geometrically biased emphasis. Always a prolific draughtsman, Jaques still draws more obsessively – for its own sake – than anyone one I know. Lately I have recognised an affinity with the “Precisionists” – pioneers of abstraction – like Ilya Bolotowsky and Burgoyne Diller. The critic Carter Ratcliff has referred to “…(Precisionism’s) cousinly resemblance to Art Deco”, a stylistic quality which Jaques’ work shares. Not least there is also resemblance to Navajo rugs (“Eye Dazzlers”) and Middle Eastern Killims – a sheer joy of decoration. Jaques is a fan of Grand Prix racing – these paintings are as highly tuned as a Ferrari and as fast on the eye.