New York

Serena Stevens, Kylie, 2019, oil on canvas, 72 × 90".

Serena Stevens, Kylie, 2019, oil on canvas, 72 × 90".

Serena Stevens

Postmasters

If the various isolative protocols necessitated by the recent lockdown have changed our relationship with the wider world, they have just as surely reshaped the ways we perceive and inhabit our own personal spaces. The altered rhythms of these pandemic days have made us suddenly aware of the heretofore unfamiliar: a pet’s midday routines, for instance, or a graceful slant of afternoon light that has always been present in our absence. These attentional shifts can have the effect of making captivating, and even profound, what had previously seemed like inconsequential minutiae. In the work of Iowa City–based painter Serena Stevens, whose “Iowa Dreams” marked her first solo show in New York, an especially keen attentiveness to the particularities of the newly present domestic world is translated into assured and nuanced figurative paintings. Her heightened sensitivity to the play of light

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