09.22.2022 – 10.29.2022
Les Ateliers Courbet is pleased to introduce American artist and master stone carver Ethan Stebbins with the artist’s first gallery exhibition opening on September 22nd at the Chelsea gallery. The show will unveil four unique, large-scale pieces hand-crafted by the artist in collaboration with Courbet.
“My work mainly relies on paying close attention to the organic matter’s properties. One must appreciate the individual characteristics of a certain wood or stone type before shaping them and joining the two together. There is a rather special moment when you carve– a quiet, flashing moment, when the natural character of the stone reveals itself. This moment is everything.” – Ethan Stebbins
Inspired by the natural landscape and surroundings of his studio in coastal Maine, the artist has been investigating and highlighting the inherent beauty of the stones and other organic materials he carefully selects within a 10-mile radius. He searches the rocky coast for tumble stones to hand-cut and chisel while emphasizing their natural surfaces. His work often abides by the Wabi-Sabi ethos of Japanese design, drawing inspiration from Japanese American furniture maker George Nakashima’s work with instinctual woodcraft techniques that embrace the natural edge and textures of the wood.
Resulting from the artist’s ongoing dialogue and creative collaboration with Les Ateliers Courbet founder Melanie Courbet, this series includes an organic bibliothèque sculpture, an asymmetrical Wabi-Sabi coffee table, and a sculptural bed frame and bench, both of which use the Japanese joinery system that consists of interlocking pieces of wood without any hardware support.
Stebbins began training as a stonemason in 1997, building dry stone walls with local fieldstone. Since then, he has pursued apprenticeships under master gardener Masahiko Seko and American master craftsman Chris Tanguay.
The Ethan Stebbins exhibition will run from September 22 through October 29, 2022, at Les Ateliers Courbet, 134 10th Avenue, New York. The exhibit will be supported by a private reception at 6:00 p.m. on the evening of September 22nd.