Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

A.Stella

Born in 1958

Lives and works in Saint-Étienne

Represented by Galerie Schumm Braunstein, Paris

“A.Stella’s plastic world has a certain kinship with that of Hippodamos: it does not borrow anything from either tradition or nature. If there are no organic forms, there are also absolutely no curves or curls like the meanders of rivers and the undulation of hills. There are straight lines, parellels and perpendiculars, right angles like nobody has ever encountered in wild forests. No references either, or quotations. […] On the other hand, there seem to be affinities between the Planogrammes and Minimal Art, in particular Sol LeWitt’s sculptures: a certain austerity, a refusal of colour, recourse to simple forms, and a reference to the orthogonal and the assemblage of parallelepiped modules. The same minimalist spareness, the same asceticism, the same rigour. For Sol LeWitt, the work was an idea before being an object. And once the module was conceived, the elements of his sculptures could be industrially produced and assembled, by others, based on his instructions. A.Stella does not restrict her activity to the idea, to the conception of a form. […] She has not entrusted the projects of the Planogrammes to manufacturers who would have given them material form with the perfection of machine-tooled objects. Describing their preparation, she emphasizes that the mental action involved is closely linked to the production of the physical action which will transform the space of the surface. But once the initial module has been created, once the form-idea has been delivered, the same gestures still have to be mechanically repeated. “The mental action” settles as a manual habit. Just as others have deliberately behaved like painting machines, A.Stella becomes mechanical in the way she carves, folds, unfolds, glues and assembles. Out of these monotonous gestures the inventory is drawn up, for each piece, with great precision. For example, the Plano T3, made up of 120 lines of 12 planogrammes each, has 17,280 joints which called for 5,760 vertical cutter strokes, 18,000 horizontal cutter strokes, 2,880 measurements, and 6,120 elements to glue. The production of Plano T3 took 120 hours.” […]

Excerpt from Les cristaux de temps, Françoise Le Roux, 2004
Translated by Simon Pleasance, 2015

Biographical notes translated with the support of Centre national des arts plastiques - Cnap.