Opening Reception Thursday, December 20, 6 – 8 PM
Franciscus & Franciscus
Stux Gallery is pleased to present En Plein Air, an invitational exhibit that explores the current state of visual art
perception. Working from a range of media and inspirations, the showʼs fourteen artists present vividly imagined,
observant “peintures sur le motif” that are acutely conscious of the presence of material reality and the continuity of
history. They describe the tangible intersection between abstract thought and reality, a terrain that is becoming
increasingly integrated yet problematic in contemporary society.
The act of seeing acknowledges the objectʼs visibility and proposes a vantage point for the onlooker. Although the
painting process implies interpretation and abstraction, transcribing and emulating the results of the full activation of
oneʼs senses was the primary concern for Plein Air painters who ventured into nature in the Nineteenth
Century. Today, seeing is a more dynamic activity for artists. The world is saturated with an exploding population,
diverging ideologies, infinite versions of history and a permanently increasing quantity of visual and audio
information. Architectural engineering has achieved a landscape that approaches fantasy, leaving the division
between imaginations witnessed by the Wordsworthian “inward eye” and reality itself difficult to trace. The
ostensibly impossible task of seeing the invisible is now a mandatory skill.
While Vik Muniz presents the art of our time as a collage of cultural vestiges that lack traditional expectations of
continuously renewed originality, he opts to meticulously reassemble these fragments through seductive twists and
turns that, in a surprisingly lighthearted and intentionally self-deprecating manner, urge us to recognise our own
limitations. Wei Dong and Sharon Coreʼs works toy with our comforting and often misleading preconceptions of
“painting”, and elucidate concerns surrounding the current relationship between the trajectories of art history and
the history of non-aesthetic events. Simultaneously, the visions of Noritoshi Hirakawa, Martha Colburn and
Alfred Steiner contextualize sexuality in unexpected and often hilarious venues, confronting inherent connections
between our knowledge, passions and visual perception.
Seeing – a simple, passive process performed by infants before speaking or walking – is now an active one that
requires the spectator to, at least momentarily, claim a point of reference in the endlessly complex cultural,
historical and linguistic matrix, and constantly evaluate automatic associations that arise as our mind attempts to
fully realized the image of the "sight". Khanlar Gasimov's "I was a Sensitive Mountain" complicates this by
introducing the visualisation of language along with our penchant for recognition. Margi Geerlinks and Franciscus
& Franciscus create photographs that capture our awareness of timeʼs repercussions and visualize the nonlinear
dimension of our emotional time, while Jansson Stegner, Jennifer Reeves, Holly Coulis, Ashley Hope
and Eteri Chkadua create highly stylized mise-en-scénes that transport the spectatorsʼ eye to a novelistic, often
political para-reality without granting permission for unrestrained escapism.
For further information, please contact the gallery at Andrea@stuxgallery.com