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"For 30 years before his death in 1995, John Stephan painted nothing but discs: perfect circles inscribed on square canvases in a variety of colors and intensities, from searing reds and yellows to calm browns and grays. A WPA artist and contemporary of Rothko and Clyfford Still, he had a remarkable feel for color and contrast. The 12 oil paintings at Louis Stern Fine Arts, most from the early '70s, glow and pulse like works of Op-art or the three-dimensional constructions of Light and Space artist Robert Irwin. In some, the illusion of a ring protruding from the painted surface is so convincing that it calls the flatness of the canvas into question. In others, the center area appears to recede or bow outward like a moon.
At once austere and trippy, the paintings play games with our perceptions of space, but their clear colors and relentless simplicity also give them a transcendent, almost spiritual air. It's easy to attribute this to the circle with its connotations of balance, wholeness and continuity. But Stephan's carefully orchestrated moments of chromatic tension – staid army greens vibrating amid jumpy reds; a halo of acid yellow slicing through a field of dusty beige – make even the circle feel fresh." http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2010/03/art-review-john-stephan-at-louis-stern-fine-arts.html
John Walter Stephan, an American painter in the Hard-edge style. His magazine The Tigers Eye was widely read and is considered a lastingly influential magazine of art and literature. He was a contemporary and friends with such notable artists as Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still and William Baziotes.
... born in Maywood, Illinois to a father who was a dentist and a mother who was a nurse. His family moved to Chicago in 1917 he attended the University of Illinois and later the Art Institute of Chicago.
He was married to Ruth Walgreen who was the daughter of walgreens founder Charles Rudolph Walgreen. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Stephan)