Kirsten Stolle

Kirsten Stolle /   Kirsten Stolle

United States 1967

Painting, Drawing, Appropriation Art

Kirsten Stolle
Kirsten Stolle
United States
April 13, 2016
Behind the pseudonym of Lor Dethal lies Nemanja Torlak, a writer for Widewalls intrigued and moved by diversity in art and in the lives of those who create it. It is often the unexpected that come forth and surprise us, and art is a world that allows it and makes it possible. David beats the Goliath daily, and writing about it is a pleasure.

There are quite a few gray areas when it comes to morality in the modern day and age, more so with the rapid development and practical use of advanced technologies. Often coming with a backlash of some sort, many are trying to avert the attention to the moral boundaries being crossed in order to achieve these breakthroughs, as well as the environmental issues caused as a consequence. The freedom of art provides a perfect medium to portray these concerns and Kirsten Stolle utilizes it completely in her practice. Dealing with many controversies created by the desire for progress within the field of science and technology, Stolle criticizes the contemporary way of creating and doing business on the back of animal and plant life, and depicts the deformed future we are inevitably drifting towards.

Kirsten Stolle
Kirsten Stolle – By the Ton, 2013

Contemporary Issues of Morality

The focus of the artistic practice of Kirsten Stolle could be said to have taken roots back in her days of youth, as she looked to replace the industrialized food source that was promoted in America during the 1990s. With the appearance of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in 1996, the choice of a food source that was presented by technological advancement and discovery brought with it more than a meal dilemma: it presented a question of morality, one that Stolle chose not to ignore. Portraying her investigation of the issue through artistic means, she has developed a practice that not only opens the conversation on the subject and with a wide audience but does so in a visually stunning way that often sends chills down the spine.

It’s been two decades since its appearance, and with the exponential development in the technological field we’re experiencing in the modern era, GMOs broadened to more than just the source of food, as did the narrative in Stolle’s work. Questioning the validity of such production, she had created bodies of work like Poison Control, examining through drawings whether the extensive use of agricultural chemicals is worth the genetically engineered crops that are produced; Intestinal Baggage that portrays the effects of genetically modified bacteria on our inner organs, and many other series showing a nuance of morality in these actions and products that might be darker than gray.

Kirsten Stolle ‘s artistic practice portrays her investigation of many contemporary issues

Kirsten Stolle
Left: Kirsten Stolle – AP5, 2014 / Right: Kirsten Stolle – AP5 (detail), 2014

Our Future

Concerned with more than just genetic modification, the work of Kirsten Stolle touches upon various subjects that are morally questionable, as well as leaving a lasting impact on the environment and us as a part of it. Using appropriation, distortion, and redaction and a mixture of media in her portrayals including wax, oil, acrylic, graphite, collage, and others, Stolle easily reaches the consciousness of any viewer and forces a wider way of thinking with her work. Her thoughts have taken her to the idea of a future built upon the foundations of the present we live in, and the fruits of those thoughts can, quite literally, be seen in her Anatomy of a Future Forest, depicting the impact of climate change and disturbances in the ecosystem on plant life.

Kirsten Stolle touches upon various subjects that are morally questionable

Kirsten Stolle
Left: Kirsten Stolle – Herbicide/Pesticide Wallpaper Swatch, 2012 / Right: Kirsten Stolle – Hand Sprayer, 2012

Visual Examination of Controversies

Tackling the controversies that are sprouting with the development of science and technology, Kirsten Stolle confronts the issues in the relationship between economy and ecology and visually presents the results of her examination. With an artistic practice that has been rewarded and acknowledged on multiple occasions, Stolle uses a variety of materials to depict subjects that are of importance to all of us, portraying them in a manner that can hardly leave any viewer indifferent.

The artist is represented by Nome.

Kirsten Stolle currently lives in Marshall.

Featured image: Kirsten Stolle – Genetic Plume (detail), 2010. All images credit the artist.
All images used for illustrative purposes only.

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2016 Conceal/Reveal Roy G Biv Gallery, Columbus, OHSolo
2016 Nowhere Everywhere Thompson Gallery, The Cambridge School of Weston, Weston, MAGroup
2016 Shaky Ground Leslie Heller Workspace, New York, NYGroup
2016 Agri-Culture Dordt College, Sioux Center, IowaGroup
2016 Exquisite Porch Morean Arts Center, St. Petersburg, FLGroup
2015 Intervention Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Appalachian State University, Boone, NCSolo
2015 Flock Revolve, Asheville, NCGroup
2015 DRAWN Manifest Gallery, Cincinnati, OHGroup
2015 Feast: pleasure + hunger + ritual Lexington Art League, Lexington, KYGroup
2015 PN 30 Curated: Uncanny Valley Slocumb Galleries, Eastern Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TNGroup
2014 Carte Blanche Central Features, Albuquerque, NMGroup
2014 Hunter/Gatherer Truman State University, Kirksville, MOGroup
2014 Give and Take AAAC, Asheville, NCGroup
2013 Around the Table: Food, Creativity, Community San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CAGroup
2013 From These Hills: Contemporary Art in the Southern Appalachian Highlands William King Museum, Abingdon, VAGroup
2013 17th Annual No Dead Artists Exhibition Jonathan Ferrara Gallery, New Orleans, LAGroup
2013 Evolve Galerie 103, Kauia, HIGroup
2013 Our Backyard, Artists Consider the Environment Roos Arts, Rosendale, NYGroup
2013 Food: Friend or Foe Target Gallery, Torpedo Factory, Alexandria, VAGroup
2013 Seeing is Believing Upstairs Artspace, Tryon, NCGroup
2013 Funny Papers Upstairs Artspace, Tryon, NCGroup
2012 Third Annual UNC Asheville Invitational Exhibition S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, University of North Carolina, Asheville, NCGroup
2012 Genetically Commodified Asheville Area Arts Council, Asheville, NCSolo
2011 Stolle, Taylor and Whiting Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GAGroup
2011 Ucross Retrospective Exhibition Ucross Foundation Art Gallery, Clearmont, WYGroup
2010 Anatomy Of A Future Forest Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2010 Dollhouse ARC Gallery, San Francisco, CA (catalog)Group
2010 Paper Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UTGroup
2010 Ucross: Twenty-Seven Years of Visual Arts Residencies Nicolaysen Art Museum, Casper, WYGroup
2010 Secret Drawings Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, CAGroup
2009 silva in posterum Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UTSolo
2009 Macrocosm Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GAGroup
2009 Sounding Out Chicago Art Source Gallery, Chicago, ILGroup
2008 Encaustic Paintings Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UTGroup
2008 Moving Pictures Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UTGroup
2007 Evolutionary Soup Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2007 Arboretum and Exquisite Inspirations Butters Gallery, Portland, ORSolo
2007 The Little Show Swarm Gallery, Oakland, CAGroup
2007 Senior Artist Fellowship Group Show Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, ORGroup
2007 10 Year Anniversary Exhibition Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2006 Uncovered: New Works by Kirsten Stolle Julie Nester Fine Arts, Park City, UTSolo
2006 5th Minnesota National Print Biennial University of Minnesota, Katherine E. Nash GalleryGroup
2006 5th Minnesota National Print Biennial Tweed Museum of Art, Duluth, MNGroup
2006 Natural and Unnatural: Imagining Landscape Hunterdon Museum of Art, Clinton, NJGroup
2005 Room to Breathe: New Paintings by Kirsten Stolle Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2005 17th Anniversary Show Butters Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2005 Out of Line Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, CAGroup
2005 Neo Mod: Recent Northern California Abstraction Monterey Art Museum, Monterey, CAGroup
2004 Neo Mod: Recent Northern California Abstraction Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CAGroup
2004 Inaugural Exhibition Julie Nester Gallery, Park City, UTGroup
2004 New Works by Kirsten Stolle and Chris Metz Ballard Fetherston Gallery, Seattle, WAGroup
2004 4th Minnesota National Print Biennial University of Minnesota, Katherine E. Nash GalleryGroup
2003 Ohm and Shorthand: New Monotypes and Paintings Tercera Gallery, Palo Alto, CASolo
2003 77 th Annual International Competition The Print Center, Philadelphia, PA,Group
2002 Kirsten Stolle: New Monotypes from Trillium Press Trillium Press, Brisbane, CASolo
2002 New Works: Kirsten Stolle Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NY, NYSolo
2002 Trillium Press: Contemporary Prints Art Foundry Gallery, Sacramento, CAGroup
2001 New Prints by Kirsten Stolle Turner Martin, Palo Alto, CASolo
2001 Surfacing: Furniture, Boxes and Monotypes Tercera Gallery, Palo Alto, CAGroup
2000 Retro(spective): Monoprints and Monotypes by Kirsten Stolle Octavia’s Haze Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
1999 Ink & Clay, 25th Anniversary Show W. Keith and Janet Kellog Art Gallery, Pomona, CAGroup
1998 First Northern Ireland Print Exhibition Townhouse Gallery, Belfast, IrelandGroup
1998 Tradition and Transition in the 90’s Somar Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
1997 Beyond Boundaries Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CAGroup
1995 Biennial Print and Draw Exhibition Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CAGroup
1994 Drawn to Abstraction Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CAGroup
1994 Small Works Exhibition Arts Benicia, Benicia, CAGroup
1994 West Coast Works On/Of PaperThe Ink People, Eureka, CAGroup
1992 Stockton National Print/Drawing Exhibition The Haggin Museum, Stockton, CAGroup