Front and back, exposed and masked, inside and outside-- I can’t see everything all at once. Unfolding and shuffling sheets of paper are ways for me to play with what I can and can’t see. I want to turn everything over so I can “take in” whatever is not immediately apparent. I suspect this is similar to the feeling one might have when casting a net away from a habitable shoreline, or boat, excited to haul it back after it has spent time out of sight, just beyond the limit of normal reach.
I have been stacking, repainting, and folding works on paper with the vague ambition of turning them into books. Each book contains a few unbound, double-sided, painted sheets of paper that ‘go together’ without there being any singularly privileged arrangement. The sheets collected in each book present a range of possible paintings. I want to relax the relationship between composition and physical adherence so I can have lap-sized way to keep my process, the things I am making, and a viewer’s encounter as flexibly integrated as possible.
Whenever an image or pattern slips into my imagination’s (internal?) habitat, I want it to be repeatedly pulled back to the space directly in front of me. That's why I privilege the materiality of holes, sheets, and folds; they pull the picture into presence. Feeling this pull (or being there for it) is a way of becoming a threshold. You see, in everything, but especially in these works, I want to be knowingly suspended where the inside and the outside meet.
Artist Bio / CV
Steve Stelling was born, raised, and publicly educated in DeKalb, Illinois. He received his BFA from Northern Illinois University in 1994 (DeKalb, IL). He received his MFA from Ohio State University in 1999 (Columbus, OH). He works in two-dimensional media, home-recorded audio, and artist books. Stelling currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and has recently had work included in group exhibitions at Printed Matter in New York City, Flux 15, in Pittsburgh, and Me and You Variety Candy in Los Angeles. In 2007 and 2008 Stelling was an artist in residence at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts.
Stelling collaborates with Jeff Sims (Columbus, OH) on various multi-media projects under the moniker “Castle Castle.” Their music appears on an international compilation CD called Project Soundwave. Their video work has been screened in Columbus, OH, and San Francisco.