Stoll's photography, video, painting, wooden structures and 'wool paintings' are allways of exploring the act of creation.
Georges Tony Stoll's exhibition at La Galerie in Noisy-le-Sec offers a fresh
interpretation of his work. Long considered as essentially intimate, his photography is
in fact only one facet of an oeuvre and an intellectual agenda which have been taking
shape for twenty years.
The artist's chosen forms and media reflect his speculation about the experience and the actual making of art, and about the concept of abstraction in a society in which the dominance of the real can extend even to the domain of the imagination.
Stoll's photography, video, painting, wooden structures and "wool paintings" are all ways of exploring the act of creation. In their foregrounding of the artistic experience they investigate the gap between the real and "the making of the real"; and this experience of reality and its representation are the oeuvre's twin catalysts.
Stoll sees his practice as a journey through what he calls "Abstraction territory", "The archive basement" or "The hole". The same shapes are to be found throughout, from his painting to his photography: placed on canvas or paper in strong or pale colours, his circles, cones, triangles and oblongs are the same as those caught by his photographer's eye: the round cloud over the mountain, the two jackets hanging above the door and the black hand on the white tablecloth are all equally abstract; and the repeated, intermingling flights of these forms arising out of the history of painting come together as photographs woven like a canvas. Stoll's exploration of this "territory" and the experience of the gap between the real and the fabricated is matched by a subterranean structuring of an oeuvre dominated by collage and the association of shapes, things and beings all given equal status, as in the recent gilded wood constructions.
Taken together, this range of media and this structure serving as the exhibition's central axis tend to demonstrate that the media in question are indissociable, even while retaining their individual autonomy. The paintings, photographs, constructions, videos and texts do not amalgamate like complementary entities, but rather give rise to the interweaving connections of an oeuvre truly singular on today's art scene. An oeuvre referencing not only Modern Art – we note the impressive echoes of Hans Arp in the works on paper and canvas, and of Surrealist photography – but also some of the founding works of Contemporary Art as well: Joseph Beuys, in its transfiguration of the world and, even more so, of human relationships; and Blinky Palermo, in its choice of materials and its reinvention of an abstract language with its roots in the real world.
To curate a Georges Tony Stoll exhibition is to rework an approach that has given rise to certain misunderstandings, the artist not in fact being the French photographer of the intimate who has made the switch to painting. The task of his curator today is to come to grips with a history and a landscape in all its topographical variety. In the move from one medium to another, some of the videos turn out to be paintings which themselves turn out to be photographs. Similarly, in the move from one figure to another, the bodies are coloured shapes, the clothes are landscapes, the landscapes are objects, and so on. Rather than a retrospective, it would be more appropriate here to speak of a panorama or procession – of shapes, people and colours – whose movement, rather than following some single line, takes us to the heart of a labyrinth.
— Jean-Marc Avrilla
Image: Absurd Identification n°9 2009 Wool painting Photo: Aurélien Mole, 2011 Courtesy Jérôme Poggi gallery, Paris
Opening Friday 2 December 2011, 6:00 – 9:00pm
Press preview 5:00 - 6:00pm in the presence of the artist
La Galerie - Contemporary Art Centre
1 rue Jean-Jaures - Noisy-le-Sec
Tuesday – Friday, 2 – 6 pm Saturday 2 – 7 pm
La Galerie is closed from 18 December to 2 January / open by appointment