martedì 9 settembre 2008


Ransome Stanley

With his panels, Ransome Stanley makes an original contribution to the art historical debate on the "picture within the picture." The observer is uncertain which spatial plane is being depicted: Are we peering at the little boy with the collar around his neck through an opening in the wall? Is the entire entity a picture hanging on the wall, or are we looking at the reflection of a real person looking into a mirror? As soon as the artist opens up a three-dimensional space that we can apparently enter, we are thrown back into the two-dimensional plane of the picture. Likewise with the drawing: It is impossible to know whether it is on the painted wall – that is, at the centre of a space represented within the picture – or whether it is simply an artist’s drawing on a canvas.

It is not easy to pinpoint Ransome Stanley’s style. His graphic linearity has its roots in early 20th century natural history books, while his equal virtuosity with airy gestural sweeps is reminiscent of the classic Modern. At the same time, he creates planar pictorial spaces whose stark narrative painting style he then disrupts by contrasting it with something two-dimensional.

For his collages, Stanley uses pictures from our collective cultural history. But in contrast to many other artists, he seeks iconographic references not just in all too well-known media images from film and advertising, but rather also in his own African roots. In his pieces, western images of Africa and certain colonially-shaped clichés of the exotic are cheekily presented and merged to form new image creations.

Stanley, who today lives in Munich, was born in 1953 in London, the son of a Nigerian journalist father and a German mother. From 1975 to 1979, he studied at the Merz Academy in Stuttgart and soon became "master student" under Professor Merz. He has presented in numerous exhibitions, most recently in Brussels as part of the large exhibition project, Black Paris – Black Brussels.

6.9.2008 - 11.10.2008

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