'I've never built anything on new land'
STAN VAN STEENDAM
opening: Fri. September 7 2018 | 7- 11pm
exhibition: Sep. 8 - Oct. 14 2018
Stan Van Steendam (°1985, BE), lives and works between Brussels and Lisbon.
The artistic practice of Stan Van Steendam translates itself as a deconstruction of the materiality of painting, which comes to expression in his intuitive compositions. Through an extensive layering of raw pigment and plaster, the artist amplifies the spatial properties of painting – abandoning the traditional focus on surface – to increase the object’s volume, making it enter the space of the viewer. This results in a body of work that blurs painting and sculpture, with an emphasis on the physical presence of the object in the space, making it approachable from all sides. His use of texture, tactility and solid monochromes is aimed at triggering a mesmerizing effect with the observer: one of heightened perception, of inner absorption and being one with the material itself.
Van Steendam questions the limits of painting by diverging from the medium’s conventional application and proposing new approaches with minimal aesthetics. He treats the material sculpturally, laying bare the creational process in his work so that the object in his current appearance co-exists simultaneously with its history.
The places where Van Steendam chooses to reside always have a major influence in his work. Currently, he is working from a studio in Lisbon, where he was captivated by the light and the skies. An inspiration that is directly reflected in his work.
Light, brightness, absorption and reflection are all essential concepts in Van Steendam’s work. The color grey, omnipresent in this series, is a mixture of a certain amount of darkness (black) with the right proportions of bright light (white). It’s a color concurrently charged with brightness and darkness, something that is reflected in the inner absorption of these shades as we observe them.
Van Steendam employs an array of non-conventional painting materials such as plaster and pure pigments. With his bare hands as his main tool, he simultaneously sculpts and paints, while his fingerprints mark his works. As the color of his latest work personates a border between dark and light, so can the works themselves be viewed as a kind of border, fluctuating between sculpture and painting at the same time.