Stephen McKenna


oil on canvas
25 5/8 x 19 3/4 x 1 inches

The classical formalism of Stephen McKenna accentuates the underlying geometry within his chosen subjects and the subtle chaos found in nature. Apples changes the location of a traditional still-life by capturing the fruit bunched within the branches of the tree. The repetition of leaves and fruit moves the eye through the composition, clustering along a central axis, except for a pair of apples in the corner that divert the viewer’s gaze. Although the artist often works from nature, there is an idealization in his paintings that can be seen in the perfectly round orbs of fruit and the simplified leaves that curl slightly around the edges. McKenna has lived and worked in Ireland since the late 1990s and first gained international attention during the 1980s revival of neoclassical paintings.