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Clary Stolte: OPPERVLAKTE 1#1 - 1#8 (2005 - 2009)

SURFACE 1#1 - 1#8 (2005 - 2009) So lets take a piece of art serious and enter it openly.
Letís begin with what represents the most basic identity of painting: A white monochrome.
For decades white paintings regularly appear in exhibitions. As an example, we do not take one but a series of paintings entitled Oppervlaktes (Surfaces).
Usually a white painting is interpreted as a reference to the beginning and the end of art.
But we can also look at a white painting as an independent work and not as a conceptual comment on painting.
What are the intrinsic qualities of the work and do they exist?
When we think of artists immediately the name Robert Ryman appears but Ryman has a very personal handwriting which is not the idea of concrete painting we would like to discuss.
More concretely the zero artists of the sixties are confronting us with monochrome white painting. They use not only the conceptual meaning of white (zero), but they also use its intrinsic quality.
White reflects all colours and mirrors the light to its full extent. In the series Oppervlaktes the entry of light is surely one of the qualities of the work.
Here it is about identical bright white canvases. When you study this further you can see the canvases are not entirely identical.
Close inspection betrays a minimal difference in the structure of the surface and gloss between the works.
However smooth the works have been painted, a brush visibly has been used.
Along the edges minimal differences are visible especially when you lift the painting (unfortunately this usually is not allowed at exhibitions), then you feel the real difference.
One canvas is much heavier than the other. The weight is because of the amount of paint used, not because of the stretcher or the canvas.
One painting can contain 10s of 100s of layers of paint while another work very few. Once you have the canvas in your hand, it is impossible to see the works as equal anymore.
The works gain identity by touching them, holding them or studying them.
You could say something becomes something when it is noticed. In the series Oppervlaktes,
the meanings are about subtle differences in weight structure and luminosity because many layers over a long period of time have been applied to the painting.
The consistency and dedication of the artist plays an important role in the background. Even when you do not know who made it.
The fact that someone made this effort indicates that natural forces were at work.

Jan Maarten Voskuil,
catalog Concrete Zaken / 2007