Zeno X Gallery is pleased to present the fourth solo exhibition of Bart Stolle (b. 1974, Eeklo). Bart Stolle is working on a complex body of work that mainly consists of paintings, drawings and animated films. In an age where everyone is overwhelmed by sensory and more particularly by digital stimuli, Stolle has resolutely chosen to slow down. He draws his animated films frame per frame, for instance, and his paintings consist of carefully chosen and often geometric units. He analyses correspondences between the logic of the computer and the human mind. Many of his works refer formally to twentieth-century modernism, on the one hand, and to computer language, on the other. For Bart Stolle, play, movement and the pleasure of colour and form are key in this exhibition. He analyses artefacts from human civilization and organisms from nature, and tries to find a balance between spontaneity and rationalization. In the past people believed that humankind could be completely analysed and explained by means of science, while today there is rather a tendency to humanize machines and robots. With the paintings Vertebrate and Animal, Stolle tries similarly to give a soul to mechanical-looking creations.
For this exhibition Bart Stolle has created three wall sculptures. These three-dimensional collages function a bit like travel reports. For years already Stolle has been collecting all sorts of objects that intrigue him, and this time, for the first time, he has given them a fixed and permanent place. In the past Stolle used to postpone fixing the elements because this would put an end to the associative game that preceded. This means that some of the objects were already visible in the installation that he created for M HKA in 2012. What the objects often have in common with one another is a certain lack of clarity as regards their origin – whether natural or man-made. Other sculptural elements refer to his practice as a painter. For instance, the toothpicks were used by Stolle to test the colour of his paint and the tape served to stick parts to his paintings.
Containers consists of a wooden board with painted caps from glass bottles. The work is reminiscent of a strategy game in which the pawns can be moved around. In recent years Bart Stolle has increasingly applied himself to his drawing practice. On a daily basis he develops works on paper in a refined formal language: repetitions and variations with points, stripes and lines. Stolle hereby often refers to natural processes and evolutions, as in the triptych MOON that represents the moon. Like the works Another rocket, Re-entry and Air pressure, this triptych also bears witness to Stolle’s fascination for space travel in general and for the moon landing in particular.
The cobalt blue that is often to be seen in the works of Bart Stolle is in fact the first industrially manufactured pigment. For Stolle, the pigment’s artificial view can refer to the affected, mediated world we live in. These paintings are constructed out of codes and came into existence in an almost mathematical way.
Bart Stolle has had solo exhibitions at Convent in Ghent, Ryan Lee Gallery in New York, S.M.A.K. in Ghent, De Brakke Grond in Amsterdam, LOMAK in Tessenderlo and STUK in Leuven. He has also taken part in group exhibitions at M HKA in Antwerp, the Prague Biennale of Contemporary Art, Kunsthal KAdE in Amersfoort, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdansk, De Loketten in the Flemish Parliament in Brussels, De Warande in Turnhout, Coup de Ville in SintNiklaas, BUDA arts centre in Kortrijk, Telic Gallery in Los Angeles, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Warsaw and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Shanghai.