Galería Hilario Galguera is pleased to present Stijn Cole’s first solo exhibition in Mexico, Horizons, 2022 opening to the public on August 31st in Mexico City, in correspondence with Horizons (a selection from spring), 2022 at Heart Ego Gallery in Monterrey, Mexico.
The exhibition is an accumulation of works from an ongoing investigation into the artist’s practice, documented and presented in different languages, media and bodies of work as a conceptual exploration of time. Cole’s work is based on personal experiences and memories taken from a variation of landscapes and sites, that are taken apart through a mathematical and technical process and then presented in a way that turns them into a catalysis for the recalling of individual memories; a concept that allows each person to project their own experiences onto another’s.
Horizons brings together an ensemble of works by Belgian artist Stijn Cole in his first solo show outside of Europe. Cole (Ghent 1978) works with sculptures, paintings, drawings, and photographic work. For Cole, the concept of approaching art is the basis of his work. Each time he enables to bring the medium to its basic qualities, with a simple gesture – often geometric – ensuring that his work evokes wonder. We are not inclined to question how each work was made, that is obvious at a first glance, yet the artworks are intriguing. More than just looking, we are encouraged to think about what we are viewing.
Landscapes, color, light and time are recurring themes in Cole’s work. The horizon – a line that gives a perspective to what we see, is present throughout his practice. In both the series “Souvenirs” and “Solid horizons” the horizon is the motif that lifts the works from abstraction and turns them into landscapes. Not only though the use of the horizon, but Cole’s works are always linked to a landscape.
Horizons shows work that Cole made as a result of a stay in Mexico during the spring of 2022. For this exhibition, Cole brought together works that are part of several series, some ongoing others new. The “Souvenirs” as you enter the gallery, are a selection of different Mexican marbles and onyx (from the States of Puebla, Veracruz and Oaxaca). The rocks are installed with the linear man-made cuts at the height of 158 cm corresponding to the artist’s eye level and initiating a common horizon which remains throughout the exhibition. In the adjoining space are the new works in ceramics, where you can find seven ceramic (terre cuit) plates in each that undergo a metamorphosis by placing them at different angles against the wall, continuing this straight line at the top; the horizon. As with the stones, this creates a landscape. They are placed in dialogue with five silkscreen prints based on photographs taken during a sunrise in Puerto Peñasco. On top of the image, two color surfaces were printed in the combined average color of the sea and sky. In each of the works, the composition is different.
Continuing through the exhibition spaces, Cole combines a new series of “Souvenirs”, which are photographs of the Mexican landscape with the right half left to be bleached in Mexico by the sun during spring and part of the summer of 2022. The sun has partially changed the works and in doing so provides a special interpretation of time. In another series of works named after the color of the monochromes, the image constantly evolves under the influence of the position from which we view the works. Three types of varnish cause the light to reflect differently on the surfaces showing a horizon and a vertical obtrusion.
In Gallery 3, the smallest of the spaces, there are fourteen “Souvenir” paintings . The works show the colors of Mexican nature alongside a black and white image where the colors have been abstracted. The works are painted rudimentarily; with the colors organised in a mathematical grid from light to dark, detached from any conscious composition. From this, abstract landscapes emerge that refer to our own frame of reference, we begin to imagine the coloring of the original snapshot. The photos for these works were taken in Hidalgo, Sonora, Puebla, Puerto Peñasco, El Pinacate and at stops along the way.
In Gallery 6, Cole presents 2 new sculptures “Solid horizon” and a painted triptych. The sculptures consist of two marble slabs leaning against each other and coming together at eye level. The balance seems fragile. For Cole the slabs refer to two tectonic plates pushing each other to the surface. The colors on the triptych refer to a view in three directions of the landscape above Teotihuacan at sunrise, and from that the pyramidal sculptures suddenly take on an additional meaning.
Horizons shows the result of an important period in the artist’s career brought together in a selection of souvenirs that enter into a new dialogue with each other and with the viewer. All the works, except the paintings, were produced in Mexico.
Exhibition by appointment
Monday to Saturday, 11am > 5pm
until Saturday 15.10.22
Galeria Hilario Galguera
Calle Francisco Pimentel 3
Col. San Rafael, Mexico City (MX)
More information about Stijn Cole