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ELAINE STOCKI

The Absolute Trick

Night Gallery is pleased to present The Absolute Trick, an exhibition of new paintings by Elaine Stocki. This is her first solo exhibition with the gallery. 

INSTALL 1

Elaine Stocki, The Absolute Trick, installation view, 2021

Using watercolor, linen, and canvas, Elaine Stocki explores abstraction through a magpie-like approach that absorbs the traditions of Color Field, Abstract Expressionism and Assemblage. Creating a process and style that are uniquely her own, the resulting paintings explore the tension between delicate and roughly hewn, fluid and structured. Pushing her materials to their maximum potential, the paintings in this exhibition exude an emotional energy that is wedded to the form, color and materials of the process. Named after a phrase from a 1972 poem by Agnes Martin, the works in The Absolute Trick take part in a tradition of intuitive formal expression.

Reverse Side Oval full

Elaine Stocki, Reverse side Oval, 50 inch, January 2021, 2021

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Stocki begins each painting by creating a pattern that designates canvas and linen portions. Stitching the fiber together, she then uses the seams as formal starting points, flooding them with paint that acts as a sort of Rorschach test for the paint pigment. The piece is flipped over, disassembled and re-stretched with scraps of former paintings that have been washed, bleached, and given new life. Watercolor is built up to the point of saturation with the raw fiber below, bleeding out when the canvas can take no more. Alternately it is applied as a light stain with delicate water marks leaving a residue on the bare linen. 

Snow Moon full

Elaine Stocki, Snow Moon (curved seam diptych, February 2021), 2021

INSTALL 2

Elaine Stocki, The Absolute Trick, installation view, 2021

INSTALL 5

Elaine Stocki, The Absolute Trick, installation view, 2021

the end of this/the start of this

Elaine Stocki, the end of this/the start of this, 2021

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Oval with Fallen Flag, 60 inch, February 2021

Elaine Stocki, Oval with Fallen Flag, 60 Inch, February 2021, 2021

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INSTALL 3

Elaine Stocki, The Absolute Trick, installation view, 2021

Color is a driving force in Stocki's process, functioning as both a formal and alchemical tool, as each pigment has its own unique atomic makeup. In combining watercolor with raw canvas, Stocki creates something permanent and irreversible: the pigment does not sit on top of the surface but rather becomes a part of the fiber. By applying paint fluidly, her brushstrokes all but disappear, leaving the viewer no trace of labor or time, only the materials in their absolute form. 

The Ghost of Paintings Past, Oval, 30 inch, February, 2021

Elaine Stocki, The Ghost of Paintings Past, Oval, 30 inch, February, 2021, 2021

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The Absolute Trick, January 2021

Elaine Stocki, The Absolute Trick, January 2021, 2021

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ghost painting detail

Elaine Stocki, detail from The Ghost of Paintings Past, Oval, 30 inch, February, 2021, 2021

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Absolute Trick painting detail

Elaine Stocki, detail from The Absolute Trick, January 2021, 2021

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INSTALL 4

Elaine Stocki, The Absolute Trick, installation view, 2021

Elaine Stocki (b. Winnipeg, Canada) holds degrees in both Chemistry and Fine Art and an MFA from Yale University. She has exhibited work at the Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris, France; Thomas Erben Gallery, New York, NY; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany; The Art Gallery of Ontario and others. Her work has been featured in international publications including The New Yorker and Border Crossings Magazine. In 2019 her first monograph was published by SKIRA Paris. Her work is included in the collection of The Philadelphia Art Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). She lives and works in Los Angeles.

Elaine Stocki
Reverse side Oval, 50 inch, January 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
50 x 39 in (127 x 99.1 cm)
ES013

Elaine Stocki
Snow Moon (curved seam diptych, February 2021), 2021
watercolor on linen
Each panel: 50 x 36 in (127 x 91.4 cm)
Overall dimensions: 50 x 72 in (127 x 182.9 cm)
ES014

Elaine Stocki
the end of this/the start of this, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
40 x 31 1/2 in (101.6 x 80 cm)
ES017

Elaine Stocki
Oval with Fallen Flag, 60 inch, February 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
60 x 47 1/4 in (152.4 x 120 cm)
ES015

Elaine Stocki
The Ghost of Paintings Past, Oval, 30 inch, February, 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
30 x 23 1/2 in (76.2 x 59.7 cm)
ES016

Elaine Stocki
The Absolute Trick, January 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
50 x 36 in (127 x 91.4 cm)
ES012

Elaine Stocki
Reverse side Oval, 50 inch, January 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
50 x 39 in (127 x 99.1 cm)
ES013

Elaine Stocki
Snow Moon (curved seam diptych, February 2021), 2021
watercolor on linen
Each panel: 50 x 36 in (127 x 91.4 cm)
Overall dimensions: 50 x 72 in (127 x 182.9 cm)
ES014

Elaine Stocki
the end of this/the start of this, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
40 x 31 1/2 in (101.6 x 80 cm)
ES017

Elaine Stocki
Oval with Fallen Flag, 60 inch, February 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
60 x 47 1/4 in (152.4 x 120 cm)
ES015

Elaine Stocki
The Ghost of Paintings Past, Oval, 30 inch, February, 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
30 x 23 1/2 in (76.2 x 59.7 cm)
ES016

Elaine Stocki
The Absolute Trick, January 2021, 2021
watercolor on linen and canvas
50 x 36 in (127 x 91.4 cm)
ES012