Text-based art competes with all the other cultural forms in which language grows power in its brevity and fragmentariness. From masters of the form like Jack Pierson, John Giorno, Lawrence Weiner, Mel Bochner and Rochelle Feinstien to his near contemporaries like Suzanne McLalland, Dana Frankfort, and Sam Jablon, Eric Stefanski’s words in their very particular painted forms are unforgettable, and unabashedly emotional.
For his exhibition “I’m Too Romantic” his first in Texas Stefanski’s works are decidedly from the more romantic side of his textual selections and the mood is one of subdued melancholy, mixing sad-sack lovesickness with fretting over family members in declining health and dying. The artist, in a particularly satisfied place in his personal life and his active professional career joins us in the fact that ruminating on any of these paintings will allow us to time-travel to earlier heartbreaks and perhaps enjoy that sweet sorrow from a safe distance. If language is the least universal way to convey emotions in its situational specificity, the range of twenty plus pieces on view overall are sure to connect with every viewer to find at least one point of sympathetic entry to this verbal registrar of moods.