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Stripping Art to Its Simplest Forms

Steven Hook (CFA’08) brings life to his still-life paintings.

Collage, Still-Life, colored paper. Images courtesy of Steven Hooks

“I want to reduce everything in my art to the simplest and most literal language possible,” says Steven Hook (CFA’08). A painting major, Hook’s pieces largely involve still-life subjects.

“By incorporating every part of the surface I work on, I can activate the entire area and treat each part with the same attention,” he says. “I attempt to make an image that is enjoyable to look at, that gives room to breathe and relax.”

Sometimes Hook’s still-life paintings border on the abstract, as is the case with Grid. The painting “is about how far I can push single colors in relation to other colors,” Hook explains. “All elements are stripped down to an absolute minimum: color and vertical and horizontal. The viewer’s eyes slowly create movements inside the grid through the brain’s interpretation and grouping of the colors.”

Grid, oil on wood, 30” x 38”
Images courtesy of Steven Hooks

Although Hook’s primary medium is paint, occasionally he ventures into less traditional means of expression. His Collage, Still-Life was made by piecing together bits of colored construction paper. “My mother is a quilter, and the collage was inspired by her work with cloth,” he says. 

The featured artwork was selected by the BU Art League, a student-run group based in the CFA school of visual arts. The organization helps undergraduate student artists learn more about the art world than they might normally learn in the classroom. The Art League tries to build a strong community through monthly meetings, exhibition opportunities, and a monthly newsletter. For more information, contact league founder Anne Albagli (CFA’08) at anniea@bu.edu.

Vicky Waltz can be reached a vwaltz@bu.edu.