Stingel's ironic take on the painting process combines the heritages of the Abstract Expressionists with the industrial, mechanical procedures of the Minimalist tradition. Stingel confounds his role as a creator of unique art work by revelling in the anonymity of mass production. He also uses unlikely materials and colours that play with the accepted rigours of the Minimalist tradition.
For this exhibition, Stingel has created a series of large, flat, rectangularly shaped works made from Styrofoam that are hung on the three walls and in the window of the gallery. The bright pink Styrofoam is uniformly perforated with holes. The quasi-theatrical set up of the installation functions as a ‘background' to the audience, but the vibrant and intense colour and texture of the works draw in the viewer. Along the length of the Styrofoam rectangles, the circular holes shift into oblong shapes then back again into circles, creating a visually hallucinatory effect. Once again, the marks and the colour suggest an ‘existential' presence, but their serialisation brings them closer to a Warholian desire to turn painting into a machine-like process.
This is Rudolf Stingel's first solo exhibition in the United Kingdom since 1990. He will be participating in Painting at the Edge of the World which opens at Walker Art Center, Minneapolis in February 2001. Stingel recently exhibited in Age of Influence: Reflections in the Mirror of American Culture at Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (2000), Examining Pictures: Exhibiting Paintings at UCLA Armand Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2000) and Whitechapel Gallery, London (1999). Stingel has also shown at Center for Contemporary Art in Malmo, Sweden, Site Santa Fe in New Mexico, PS.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York, and Kunstverein Münich in Germany. Stingel is also represented by Paula Cooper Gallery in New York.