The New York solo debut of Los Angeles-based artist Kirsten Stoltmann.
Stoltmann’s work in collage, video, photography and sculpture brazenly walks the lines between desire and obsession, pathos and longing, identification and self-flagellation. Mining both the formal language and psychic baggage of Midwestern adolescence, Stoltmann’s hilarious and often discomfiting work is a lampoon with earnest underpinnings, mimicking the regressive outbursts of juvenile angst as a tactic for personal and cultural revelation.
Stoltmann’s materials are the stuff of suburban banality: craft paper, fluffy taupe bedding, a pink velour tracksuit, and cutouts from news and fashion magazines. Melding such seemingly disparate elements as a Ferrari Testarosa, ocean fauna, Victorian bric-a-brac and Toni Braxton, Stoltmann creates lively and jarring juxtapositions with a keen sense of the darkly absurd.
Stoltmann’s videos reinvigorate the medium with an astute balance of farce and irony underscored by a definitive feminist agenda. Chronicles is a 12-minute “video-collage” that features a glacier, a breast pump, Hearst Castle and a choreographed Druid Bacchanalia played out (by the artist and cohort) in a suburban backyard. It is a vigorous romp that pushes the boundaries of politeness in bold gestures that get under the viewer’s skin. This space of intense discomfort is Stoltmann’s battlefield and her playground—her arsenal stocked with a biting wit and a raw vulnerability foist upon us with enviable bravado.
“I Know What I’m Doing” is Stoltmann’s first solo exhibition in New York. Selected exhibitions include The Suburban (Oak Park); Zach Feuer Gallery New York); Donald Young Gallery (Chicago); The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (Chicago); Hallwells Contemporary Art Center (Buffalo); Henry Art Gallery (Seattle); Midway Contemporary Art (St. Paul); The Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus); Collaborations with Sterling Ruby include: Jonathan Vyner/Fortescue Avenue (London, forthcoming); Sister (Los Angeles); The Bower (San Antonio); Smart Project Space (Amsterdam).