Stef Driesen: Stef Driesen

11 March - 12 April 2016
Installation Views
Press release

Gallery Baton is pleased to present Stef Driesen’s solo exhibition from 11th March to 12th April 2016.

Stef Driesen already showed abstract paintings distinct from his previous style through the group show ‘Belgium Contemporary Now’ at Gallery Baton in 2012. Yet, in this solo exhibition, he reveals new pieces more freewheeling and bolder than the previous works, solidly reflecting the artist’s theoretical foundation for a commitment to subjective creation.

It is desirable to look into his previous practice first in order to grasp abstract artworks that Driesen ultimately pursues, since inherent traits and atmospheres of subjects manifested in the previous works, especially in landscapes, not only establish a fundamental physical structure of his present abstract paintings but also have a conceptually close relation, although there are extreme differences between prior ones and new ones in terms of an expression methodology and a visual exposure of the depicted targets.

The artist produces a stratum of colour facets by repetitively applying diluted oil colours on a background plane. The imagery created through the process attains a shape bisecting the canvas or broadly and evenly spreading on it, crossing over between smears and reversals of light and shade. On the other hand, thick geometric figures stressing on a certain directivity seem locate in the upper part of the surface, in other words at the top of the colour face. They certainly form a boundary deciding the whole canvas’s impression and at the same time inject tension and dynamics into it.

The fierce-toned images stand for the depicted objects which construct a framework of landscapes, whereas atypical colour shapes scattered in the entire plane rather concentrate on capturing phenomena of their surroundings, such as the lapse of time, the intersection of day and night, each season’s overlaps occurred by its transition, and the fluid state of circumstances.

In addition, Driesen attempts to maintain an appropriate distance from his previous works by selecting and employing particular colours that would not easily remind of specific objects existing in the realm of nature or in an ordinary environment. This intended approach to so-called immaterial colours consequently gives an emphasis on abstract aspects by blocking a connection to those certain subjects in advance.

The artist’s own unique abstract demonstration composed of three elements, colour, size and shape, on the matte surface exposes its presence building a sort of phase as though it floats around. Accordingly, it is conveyed to spectators in a similar form to certain emotions or sensations in stead of being a target to be analysed by them. Moreover, traces caused by spontaneous but delicately controlled movements of strokes generate an effect: as if diverse colour textiles woven from fine threads naturally spread throughout the canvas. They in the end allow us to experience a border between transparency and opacity originated from their splendid overlaps.