Alice Stepanek & Steven Maslin Tour*Redetour 17th January – 28th February 2009
Galerie Jean-Luc & Takako Richard features the third solo exhibition of the German and English couple Alice Stepanek & Steven Maslin entitled “Tour*Redetour” from 17th January till 28th February 2009. Alice Stepanek and Steven Maslin are an example of those artists who exploit a single theme: that of nature and its representation, since the beginning of the 1980s. They continue to explore these themes and intensify the paradoxical relationship between man and nature. At a time when global warming is no longer doubted, Stepanek and Maslin have followed with great interest the scientific research on the subject and have integrated it in their paintings using differing motives.
The spectator confronts a vertically distributed landscape and even horizontal landscape by conspicuous for the tree trunks that invade the foreground and sever the image in several “frames”, each enclosing disparate landscapes. Some of these fragments remind one of a blurry horizontal snapshot made with a photo or a video camera, whereas the rest of the fragments remains stable and precise. Some recent paintings show vertical fragmentation without interruption of tree trunks. Sometimes, different parts are assembled by a formal link: on other occasions they ignore a formal point of view as well as established visual codes, with a horizon line whose height varies rising or descending on the canvas. More than anytime before, we find ourselves in an irregular space-time continuum. The skies of the latest works are charged with impressive white and dynamic clouds reminding of Reynolds’s English skies. Sometimes tree trunks levitate in the painting confusing the spectator. The artists are returning to human representations as well, though they’re still limited only to parts of a human body. Finally, an original architectural structure in the shape of a cross, illuminates a dark blue sky and stands out against the shadows of the trees.
The title of the exhibition “Tour*Redetour” evokes not only circularity but also disarray. The artists create a pictorial space that is difficult to date and in which one’s situation is uncertain. It’s not a heavenly ideal, but it’s not a representation of a post-human era either. With different compositional techniques, the artists suggest a familiar and yet a disparate world, radiating a dystopic rather than a utopic vision, which interrogates the relationship between culture and nature.
Alice Stepanek and Steven Maslin are supported by many art galleries around the globe and are exhibited in several museums and art centres as well as international art fairs.