News for the ‘UNFINISHED’ Category

six questions @ Tique art paper – interview – read here

2016 / H ART #154, HART Magazine (BE) by Grete Simkuté

Posted: September 8th, 2016
Categories: UNFINISHED, content, material, message, shows, white
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outside installation view
nivea creme on window
spaceburo, antwerp
Posted: July 6th, 2016
Categories: UNFINISHED, material, shows, white
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Posted: February 14th, 2016
Categories: UNFINISHED, material, message, shows, white
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Posted: June 18th, 2015
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Kari Schmidt. In: ‘Precise Operations’ isbn 978-0-473-30048-7, published 2015
Publication – Precise Opertations – @ Factor 44, 2013, Antwerp (BE)
artists: Alain Biltereyst (BE), Noel Ivanoff (NZ), Leigh Martin (NZ), Monique Jansen (NZ)
Alexandra Kennedy (NZ), Michael Morley (NZ), Clary Stolte (NL)

The Appearance of Things / Kari Schmidt

Precise Operations sees a highly deliberate intention and attention to detail and form. Yet, we see the artists also moving beyond the ‘visual’ emphasis of Greenbergian modernism to focus on the materiality of painting (as a mode of presentation) and paintings (as objects), to the point where mimesis begins to collapse on itself. The thing itself (the object that is the painting) and that which it is meant to be re-presenting, start to merge. So in Leigh Martin’s appropriately named Dissolve series we encounter slabs of pure colour and a semiotic indeterminacy as the work becomes what it is meant to be re-presenting – the painting medium is turning into paint.
Noel Ivanoff presents the painting as an object, a crate used for the transportation of goods – base as opposed to surface, exhibiting the ‘support structures’ of painting as well as the striated digit painting itself, with the two halves of Crate Painting (2013) interlocking to form their own container. Standing against the exposed brick wall of the gallery this object references the history of painting display in its taking up of the relationship between the painting and the gallery wall (something Clary Stolte also speaks to in her makeshift studio set-up). Yet, able to stand independently, the work reinforces its own ‘object-ness’. Parallel lines are also painted onto the work with the artist’s finger, again drawing us back to the painting as three-dimensional object – there is no symbol ‘re-presented’ here, but rather a formal pattern of paint applied in a methodical manner. In Alexandra Kennedy’s work the painting surface is compromised, with holes either drilled into the wooden surface in one instance, or already provided via readymade material, pegboard from a hardware shop. Lurid colours splurge out of multiple, carefully measured orifices, the paint still wet and seemingly on the point of dripping off the support. Conversely, Clary Stolte utilises the ‘void’ quality of white, using multiples to present canvas/the painting plane as painting. Her part in the exhibition was comprised of numerous components – multiples, hair gel, fliers and a laptop depicting her studio, all presented as a makeshift studio set-up.

1 A form of abstract art void of any symbolism i.e. any reference to ‘reality’ – rather, works are constructed through the use of lines and colour, considered ‘concrete’ enough in themselves. Concrete art emerged in the 1930s at the behest of such artists as Max Bill and Theo Van Doesburg.

In Michael Morley and Alain Biltereyst’s works we see a practice in precise measurement, referencing geometric abstraction and in the case of the latter, graphic design. Both artists utilise a simple and understated style. Monique Jansen, on the other hand, uses screen-printing, negating the materiality of the painting medium – from far away we see painted lines, yet close up the colour blends with the fabric to an indistinguishable degree. Oil stick on canvas is also utilised, the artist again playing with the concept of ‘painting’ as she simultaneously engages with ‘soft’ geometric patterns in her grid-like pieces. In this way works are taken to the very limit of their physical and conceptual being. In doing so they experiment with the nature of non-objective art and in some cases, the zero-gesture. For example, that an artist’s work can be exhibited as a makeshift studio, that concrete painting can incorporate graffiti or graphic design elements, that it can blur the boundaries between the painting and the ready-made, the painting as ‘work of art’ and transportable good, and that it can even question the concept of painting as solid surface or needing any actual paint whatsoever. Such an engagement in semiotics is so subtle as to be abtuse, but to engage in this, to attempt to ascertain the quiddity of these works, is to be at the very edge of meaning, experience and modes of visibility in painting. At the other extreme, we can see such works as so many have before us in trying to comprehend non-objective work – as spiritual, feeling, life, death, love, exaltation. We search for meaning, we impose it. So too, the artists engage with multiple constructs – political and social, as well as aesthetic. Alain Biltereyst’s pieces play with the low and high of art – the gallery and the street, painting and graffiti, graphic design as it exists all around us, logos and design work on industrial trucks, gates and other public spaces. Hence we experience encounters with the everyday in these works.
Clary Stolte, in using such every-day, throw-away materials as hair gel, cello-tape, plastic and store-bought canvases, also connects her work to this time and place and manifests a bridging between art and life. She considers the use of plastics, for instance, an implicit commentary on the origins of materials in the present day – that we don’t know where they come from, and are also unable to find out (as she has tried to do through the companies where some of the plastic she uses are produced). So too, the hair gel will evaporates and in this way she plays with the concepts of beauty and decay, and ultimately with death. Ivanoff’s emphasis on the crate, pallet and packing box also references the “world of labour, manufacture and commerce” as well as the “the enclosure in which much painting is placed: the home, the room – the four walls that we dress”.

Outside It(self)
This register identifies the importance of place in a work and the ‘coming together of related practices from a range of ‘places’. Such ‘places’ include the artist’s studio, as well as the world at large. We see, in the makeshift studio of Clary Stolte established in its own distinct space an ‘impression’ of the artist’s space in Amsterdam. So much of the process and meaning of a work is lost in the transition from the intimate, individualised activity of the studio to the often near-antiseptic gallery, where it is often difficult to get a sense of the artist’s way of thinking. Stolte attempts to address this, inspired by Daniel Buran’s text The Function of the Studio (1971) where he writes, “Torn from their context, one could say from their environment, they lost their sense, their life. It was as if they became ‘frauds’. I understood that what got lost… was the work’s reality, its ‘sincerity’, that is, its connection to its place of creation, the studio – a place where finished works intermingle with works in the process of being made, works that will never be finished, sketches etc. All these trace, visible at the same time, allow the comprehension of the work underway, which the museum definitely extinguishes in its desire to ‘install’.” * This disparity is clear after frequenting the artist’s studio – to encounter the wealth and variety of the work and the manner in which pieces inform each other was such a distinct experience from experiencing such works on a gallery wall. Intended to ‘refer’ or ‘provide an impression’ of the studio space, the way her work is exhibited in Factor 44 supplements the intrinsic failing of the art gallery as the table, multiple white works of varying size and material, gel on the floor (referencing her previous ‘gel’,work), accompanying booklet of a variety
of her works and the fliers/video of her studio give us a sense of process, context, space and the artist’s point of view. We’re better able to understand the huge variety of materials and approaches she takes in answering the question of what a painting can be and how it can feel, the fun and play involved in that undertaking and finally the fact that this process is never finished, but ongoing and constantly evolving.
Biltereyest and Morley are also good examples of the “problem and the significance of the work’s place.” The former’s precise geometric abstraction is inspired by and utilises the graphic design of truck logos, as well as the patterns and shapes found in/on the gates and walls of public spaces. So too, Morley’s paintings reference 8-bit graphics of early video games, a commentary on our contemporary reliance on media and digital technology as well as painting’s resultant lack of authority – we’re more interested in celebrity, conformity and pop culture now. In this way both of their paintings are in a dialogical relationship with ‘the world’ at large, and such an understanding of place in these pieces is crucial, so that we do not lose “the main point of the work… somewhere between the place of production and place of consumption.”

Doing While Doing
Participating artist Clary Stolte (NL) states: “As a painter I am constantly confronted with questions: Who am I in my work? What kind of work ‘is still possible’ (regarding art history)? What is painting about? And, what is a painting? By repeatedly watching myself doing while doing I began to understand that these questions and processes belonged to the content of my work. It was all about the forming of the painting.” In this way the practices of these artists can be conceptualised as meta-process, the very process of painting being one means through which artistic practice can be analysed. The action of painting is integral in this respect. We can see this in Stolte’s work firstly in the inaction present in her utilisation of multiples – there is no act of putting paint on canvas here, not even remotely. Again we are at the outer limits of what a painting can be, the artist pushing the boundaries of concrete art. But we also see this in her visiting the gallery in Antwerp and setting up her makeshift studio, the care and time put into this process definitive of both the artist and the resultant work – the works are involving, inclusive, the sum of their parts contributing to the impact and meaning of the set-up, as much as the individual pieces in themselves.
Alexandra Kennedy also utilises aspects of the ready-made in her pegboard work. So too, the works are ultimately made to be destroyed and the paintings are formed with this knowledge in mind. Thus, the process of constructing and destroying the work speaks to these fundamental questions – what kind of work ‘is still possible’ (regarding art history)? What is painting about? What is a painting? It is a work that can be made using ready-made material, that doesn’t ‘represent’ anything at all but simply utilises pure colour on board in such a way that we can see the paint and the ‘canvas’ as the materials they are. ‘Painting’ can also be destroyed, it can be transient, it can be a moment in time – thus the work contradicts the historical tenet of the ‘precious art object’. Again, Ivanoff places paint on the surface of his works with his finger via the process of touch. This process draws our attention to the object-ness of the painting, calling us to consider the painting as tactile object, and experienced through multiple sensations. In this way the work calls us to re-consider how a painting can be made and experienced.
Leigh Martin’s process is also notable – built up with many layers, over many hours, the painting necessitates that the body of the artist become machine-like in the production of the work. It is not merely the hand/eye that are involved in this process and the resultant works, but the entire body. And this process has a concomitant impact on these works – that a painting can be implicitly performative, that it relates not just to the hand/eye but to the body of the artist.

Precise Operations
In the exhibition we see a ‘careful and deliberate attention to the forming and making of the art object’ i.e. its precise operations. It is the intensity and consistency of colour in a Leigh Martin, the exact measurement of shapes in Morley and Biltereyst, the perfectly parallel lines of Ivanoff’s digit paintings, the carefully constructed effect of Monique Jansen’s tapestry like patterns, Clary Stolte’s deliberately placed, crisply white and straight-edged square multiples and the even, perfect apertures of Kennedy’s works. And yet, it is this very attention which facilitates its disappearance as we experience a final work, a final object, rather than the fact of its maker and the processes and actions necessary in its construction. On the one hand this ‘disappearance’ of the artist enables “the advent of the painting in its own terms.” However, it also requires the viewer to consider the work very carefully so as to see and experience the multiple facets of which it is comprised, which can be conceptualised on various registers. So there is an indeterminacy here – a multiplicity of viewpoints, as well as a not knowing, an exploring, a testing, an experimentation. We see that, for instance, in Kennedy’s practice of drilling holes into a canvas, thus corrupting the integrity of the picture plane, in Jansen’s use of screen-print and oil stick in representing soft-geometric patterns, in Biltereyst’s multi-disciplinary approach, with graffiti, graphic design and photography informing his painted works, in Noel Ivanoff approaching painting tactilely and conflating painting as artistic practice with painting as object through the use of the crate form, and finally in Clary Stolte’s bubble gum work (a work consisting entirely of chewed pink bubble gum stuck to the gallery wall), studio set-up and use of white multiples . As the Stolte states, “My work… is to experiment with searching for the right way to show my work.” But again, this indeterminacy also applies to the fullness of these works – how much they really contain. In order to really ‘see’ these pieces we really have to look again and our looking cannot be cursory, but necessitates its own deliberateness and careful scrutiny in order to unveil this palimpsest.

Kari Schmidt is a BA/LLB (Hons) student at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand, majoring in Art History. She has worked and volunteered at numerous art institutions including the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, the Blue Oyster Project Space and Glue Gallery and written for Dunedin based publications including Critic Magazine, Gyro Magazine, Marrow Magazine and the Blue Oyster Yearly Review. Her most recent project was a zine entitled Femme & Oddities based in Amsterdam, NL, launched alongside a gig and art exhibition in the historic squatting institution of De Slang and featured on the new website of collective OT301. She is currently studying in Heidelberg.

image: clary stolte, chewing gum on wall, installation view @ precise operations

dr. Oetker gelatin on canvas (20x20cm) studio installation 2014

on view at ‘You Have No Idea’  @ 6b Gallery (BE)

plastic geheugen (plastic memory explained)

Plastic Geheugen- Plastic Memory / past exhibitions (2003) with paintings by Clary Stolte and sound-installations
by Radboud Mens at Nieuwe Vide Haarlem, the Netherlands  and at De Verschijning Tilburg, the Netherlands

garbage bag on canvas – 24 x 24 cm (2014)

Posted: April 3rd, 2014
Categories: UNFINISHED, plastic, studio
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dcp 2

‘ik wordt’ Project of Johan De Wilde (image: drawing Johan De Wilde)

Voorkamer, Lier (BE)
19.05 – 07.07.13

Clary Stolte / Dust Collecting Postcard 2 /

part of the series Dust Collecting Surfaces

Adhesive foil –  10 x 15 cm – @ ‘ik wordt’


20u - opening en boekvoorstelling ik wordt
22u - performance door Jens Brand

20u - rondleiding door Johan De Wilde
22u - vertoning The Great White Silence,
documentairefilm uit 1924 over de Britse Terra Nova poolexpeditie van 1910-1913
inschrijven aanbevolen via

20u15 - vertoning The Great White Silence - Zomer in het Park
meer info:
 Johan De Wilde maakt verdichte tekeningen met vette  kleurpotloden op kartons in standaardformaten. 
Doorheen zijn tekeningen  lopen lijnen die herinneren aan de snelheid van filmbeelden. 

In het werk  van De Wilde beweegt echter niets; het ontstaat op terreinen waar geen  geluid nog doordringt, 

waar vormen en kleuren louter herinneringen zijn  aan vormen en kleuren. Via deze subtiele potloodtekeningen spreekt hij  

over de grote en kleine bewegingen van het leven. In de reeks Carte Blanche nodigde Voorkamer Johan De Wilde uit om  een presentatie te 

maken rond het persoonlijke vocabularium van de  kunstenaar. Op zijn beurt nodigde Johan De Wilde zijn kijkers uit om  deel uit te maken 

van en mee vorm te geven aan “zijn  solotentoonstelling” in de Heilige Geestsite te Lier.

Meer dan 140 kunstenaars en niet-kunstenaars formuleerden een  subjectieve associatie op het werk van De Wilde. 

Al deze bijdragen - een  ander beeldend werk, een voorwerp, een gedachte, een postzegel, een  filmfragment, de vage herinnering aan muziek of een geluid,

- worden  nu gepresenteerd samen met nieuwe werken van De Wilde zelf. De opzettelijk grammaticale fout in de titel ik wordt refereert dan ook naar 

vragen die Johan De Wilde al jaren bezig houden: Hoe gedraagt een kunstwerk zich bij anderen? Ben ik mijn werk?  

Wat doet de kijker precies als hij kijkt? En daarna? Wat zien de  duizenden bezoekers van de Sixtijnse kapel? Wat verwachten zij er te  

zien en waarom zijn zij daar?

Parallel aan de tentoonstelling verschijnt de gelijknamige publicatie ik wordt, een bundeling van de tekst- en beeldbijdragen, 

uitgegeven door Studio Luc Derycke (MER).

Als associatie op het werk van Johan De Wilde installeerden  Morrens & De Boe een kabinet aan de ingang van de tentoonstelling  

met werk van Birde Vanheerswynghels, Bits & Pieces, Cel Crabeels,  Chet Baker, Claire L. Evans, Clary Stolte, Étienne Léopold Trouvelot, 

Geert Goiris, Glenn Sorensen, Gustave Flaubert, Hans-Peter Feldmann, JCJ  Vanderheyden, Johan De Wilde, John Stezaker, Karel Schippers, 

Leïla  Brett, Michelangelo, Ori Gersht, Peter Fischli & David Weiss, Peter  Morrens, Rein Dufait, Richard Forster, Rik De Boe, Ruth van Beek, 

Ryan  Brown, Sylvie Monden en Wouter Coolens.

study for antwerp

study for antwerp #12 @ factor 44,  antwerp –  March 2013

overview with hair gel

overview with studio views 2005 – 20011/30 sec. tracks / compilation 20 min. avi


PRECISE OPERATIONS – Factor 44, Antwerp

‘Study for Antwerp # 12 – from the series Studies for Antwerp


001325 READY MADE / MULTIPLE # 4 (2013) acrylic paint and plastic on cotton 100x100cm

Two elements on table

00827 White volumesurface 4 #1 (2008) folded paper 24x24cm

2013  Publishing: ‘clary stolte works and projects 2005-2013’ book A5, 48 pages

Wall (side by table):

001332 White frame (2013) cotton and frame 30x30cm

001327 READY MADE / MULTIPLE # 5 (2013) plastic lath, signed and numbered on backside

One white plate

Floor (side by table):

2 x studies for flat volumesurface 9 (prototype) 40×40

001322 Transparencydensity 3 # 6 (2013) wrapping foil on canvas 30x30cm

Floor (side by fire place):

2 boxes

2013 Publishing: ‘clary stolte studio views’ (2013) flyer A3 – 2 sided

2013 Publishing: ‘clary stolte studio views 2009-2013’ book A4, 24 pages, edition 100

Floor (side by door left to right):

001324 READY MADE / MULTIPLE # 6 (2013) sealed canvas, 90x90cm, signed and numbered on backside

001321 READY MADE / MULTIPLE # 9 (2013) ready made sealed canvas, 40x50cm, signed and numbered on backside

001320 READY MADE # 6a – 1/21(2013) sealed Chinese ready made canvas board, signed and number on backside, edition 22

001336 Substance 1 #3 (2013) one lt. hair gel on plastic 40x40cm

One white plate

Floor (round the corner)

001335 Studio views 2005 – 20011 / 30 sec. tracks / compilation 20 min.

Wall (backroom)

001334 Chewing gum on wall (2013) buble gum on wall

Patio (outside)

001320 READY MADE # 6a – 22 (2013) sealed Chinese ready made canvas board, signed and number on backside, edition 22

model 005/fos

The series  OPPERVLAKTES (surfaces / from 2005) consists of  8 paintings on which I apply thin layers of acrylic paint since 2005. Each painting started on a different time making it one work thicker and heavier than the other work. In 2007 the series were exhibited in the exhibition CONCRETE ZAKEN, Nieuwe Vide, Haarlem, the Netherlands, a group show curated by Jan Maarten Voskuil. The text below about the series OPPERVLAKTES, is written by Jan Maarten Voskuil for the catalog of this show. In the exhibition SLOW FREEZE, GEMAK, The  Hague,  the series will be exhibited again. This time presented on a table,  as part of the installation ‘Model 005/the function of the studio’ – SLOW FREEZE,  January 18 – March 2, 2013,  GEMAK, The Hague. Clary Stolte / 2013

OPPERVLAKTES – So lets take a piece of art serious and enter it openly. Let’s begin with what represents the most basic identity of painting: A white monochrome. For decades white paintings regularly appear in exhibitions. As an example, we do not take one but a series of paintings entitled Oppervlaktes (Surfaces). Usually a white painting is interpreted as a reference to the beginning and the end of art. But we can also look at a white painting as an independent work and not as a conceptual comment on painting. What are the intrinsic qualities of the work and do they exist? When we think of artists immediately the name Robert Ryman appears but Ryman has a very personal handwriting which is not the idea of concrete painting we would like to discuss. More concretely the zero artists of the sixties are confronting us with monochrome white painting. They use not only the conceptual meaning of white (zero), but they also use its intrinsic quality. White reflects all colours and mirrors the light to its full extent. In the series Oppervlaktes the entry of light is surely one of the qualities of the work. Here it is about identical bright white canvases. When you study this further you can see the canvases are not entirely identical. Close inspection betrays a minimal difference in the structure of the surface and gloss between the works. However smooth the works have been painted, a brush visibly has been used. Along the edges minimal differences are visible especially when you lift the painting (unfortunately this usually is not allowed at exhibitions), then you feel the real difference. One canvas is much heavier than the other. The weight is because of the amount of paint used, not because of the stretcher or the canvas. One painting can contain 10s of 100s of layers of paint while another work very few. Once you have the canvas in your hand, it is impossible to see the works as equal anymore. The works gain identity by touching them, holding them or studying them. You could say something becomes something when it is noticed. In the series Oppervlaktes, the meanings are about subtle differences in weight structure and luminosity because many layers over a long period of time have been applied to the painting. The consistency and dedication of the artist plays an important role in the background. Even when you do not know who made it. The fact that someone made this effort indicates that natural forces were at work. Jan Maarten Voskuil, catalog Concrete Zaken / 2007

white book

WHITE BOOK - fingerprints collecting book part of the series WHITE DOCUMENTS

- start collecting fingerprints by holding the book -

001245 / book A5 / 12 empty pages / 3 x A4 – 1 fold line – ivory cardboard / signed and numbered on backside

© clary stolte 2012 - book launch follows

Posted: December 12th, 2012
Categories: UNFINISHED, white documents
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dust collecting postcard

Part of the series Dust Collecting Surfaces / remove grid layer to start collecting dust

001244-01 Adhesive foil 10 x 15 cm © clary stolte 2012

Secret Postcards: November 17-25 @ The Jan van Eyck Academie, the Netherlands

dust collecting surface

dust collecting surface – dcs – udderointment on paper


chewing gum





Posted: December 20th, 2011
Categories: UNFINISHED, bubble gum, material
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SUBSTANCE 1 – 500 lt. hairgel


2 min./ part1+2

Posted: November 9th, 2011
Categories: AVI, UNFINISHED, film, material, registration, studio
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chewing gum 2

smoke paintings

Posted: August 23rd, 2011
Categories: UNFINISHED, film, material
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unfinished #9

book project

click photo to enter project


Posted: August 11th, 2011
Categories: UNFINISHED, material, storage, studio
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Posted: March 2nd, 2011
Categories: UNFINISHED, film
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small tape

Posted: December 14th, 2010
Categories: TAPE, UNFINISHED, material, studio
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UNFINISHED / interview online


“Visual Discrepancies + Clary Stolte in converstion with Brent Hallard, Tokyo, Japan”

click here to read the whole interview  UNFINISHED

Posted: August 15th, 2010
Categories: UNFINISHED, message
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