Stijn Ank - inSTANCE
22 January—28 February 2021
Opening: Friday, 22 January 2021
Galerie Michael Janssen is pleased to present a solo exhibition by artist Stijn Ank, which will be its third exhibition with the artist to date. Titled “inSTANCE”, the exhibition amplifies Ank’s longstanding practice that explores the performative potential of materials, namely plaster, that the artist builds up meticulously through accumulated layering. In order to shape these mediums, Ank creates molds that act as temporary prostheses. This material driven experimentations border on alchemy, allowing one substance to be distilled or appear in another’s shape with a different stance.
Stijn Ank’s exhibitions often consist of spatial interventions, cuts in architecture that function to interrupt or alter the environment they inhabit. This method of working the space redefines the viewer’s orientation or sense of grounding: making the inside feel like outside, for example, or inside out. Often the freestanding sculptures are exhibited together with fresco panels, that range in color and material sensibility.
Ank’s knowledge and experimentation with plaster and clay has informed the artist’s upcoming exhibition, “inSTANCE”, where he will present two new sculptures, 03.2020 and 02.2020. Previously, an element of serendipity emerged in Ank’s works during the casting process when matter was cast into closed molds. Within this new series, however, the artist has embarked on a new path by expanding his use of clay molds. The clay is flexible in it of itself, allowing the mold and the plaster to move and bend (and sometimes even collapse) during the casting process. A degree of contingency is always at play within this process when the works are subjected to pigmented plaster, making the final outcome unpredictable.
Both sculptures are available in a bronze edition with a patina that enhances the original surface of the work.Within the gallery, the two sculptures almost appear to float, estranging the viewer’s sense of depth and weight. Layers of curving sinews top vertically and curve spontaneously. The works capture something ghostly, but whole: the remnants of an action. Accompanying the sculptures is a fresco panel made out of pigmented plaster, titled 11.2018. Horizontal stripes and color blocks of gray and amber bleed out into the surface.
“inSTANCE” will open on Friday January 22nd and be on view online at the gallery’s website until February 28th. A walk-through video will guide the viewer through the exhibition, granting access to the new works.
Stijn Ank, inSTANCE, Installation view, 2021, www.michaeljanssen.gallery