Philadelphia, PA

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February 01 - March 08, 2003

144 Crosses for the 144,000


Philadelphia, PA – Gallery Joe is pleased to announce an exhibition of sculpture by David Stephens. This is Stephens’ first solo show with Gallery Joe. 144 Crosses for the 144,000 opens in the Vault Gallery on Saturday, February 1 and continues through March 8, 2003. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, February 1 from 3:30 – 5:30 PM. The artist will be present.

In David Stephen’s long, varied and distinguished art career he has worked as a teacher, administrator and dealer. He has served on the board of the Fabric Workshop, Nexus, the Woodturning Center, the Brandywine Workshop and other local arts institutions, as well as advised and nurtured many community art programs including those at Taller Puertorriqueno, the Painted Bride, and the West Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

All the while, David Stephens has been an artist and sculptor with scores of exhibitions to his credit. Most recently, Mr. Stephens had a solo show at the Philadelphia Airport of work created during a residency at the Fabric Workshop. In 1999 his graphic work was shown at The Moore College of Art.

The roots of David Stephens’ art are firmly set in Christian theology. Central to the creation of 144 Crosses is the idea that the Roman cross, known in antiquity as an instrument of torture, humiliation and death, was transformed by Christian faith into a symbol of redemption. 144 is a multiple of 12, a number associated with completion in the Bible (12 Gates of the New Jerusalem, 12 Apostles, 12 months of the year, 12 tribes of Israel). Mr. Stephens’ crosses are made of carved and painted wood, using densely layered variant forms of the cross from two millennia of Christian iconography. The careful observer will notice patterns of raised dots, which are braille inscriptions.

“144,000 is a controversial number”, says Mr. Stephens. According to some, prophesy holds that 144,000 souls will rise on the Day of Judgement to sit at the right hand of God. Others contend that this is the number of the faithful who will remain on earth to build the New Jerusalem. This is an extraordinary body of work by an extraordinary man.

144 Crosses for the 144,000 opens Saturday, February 1 and runs through Saturday March 8, 2003. The artist will be present at an opening reception on Saturday, February 1 from 3:30 - 5:30 P.M. Regular gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday 12 - 5:30, other days by appointment. For additional information contact Becky Kerlin, 215.592.7752, FAX 215.238.6923, or

144 Crosses for the 144,000

  • David Stephens
01 Feb - 08 Mar 2003