Suse Stoisser

ON THE BORDER TO BEAUTY

Vicen´Altaió

 

In few years, the acceleration of the language of art and its expansion have been as powerful as has been its drift off course. In the last decades, from pure abstraction up to now, with modernity reaching its limits, still we were able to see the killing of the medium  with conceptual art. Very soon, once the communicational space was re-established-with the reintegration of the avant-garde into the museums, the non-exclusion between figurative art and informal isms, and the explosion of a thriving market in the eighties, which valued the classical as much as the newest- post modernity arrived. In spite of the apparent passage from a single historical Darwinist line to the nervous multicapillarity of transhistory- with the complexity of stylistic variables, the crossbreading and hybridity of other civilizations, and the citations of past epochs in the hyper present the crisis of the author and the crisis of the oeuvre were even more accentuated with deconstruction and the yielding towards new vehicles derived from the technologies of the numerical. In this moment, the dominant aesthetics, displaced towards ethics, has branched out between the retrospective-archives of systems-and the expansive-networks outside of systems. Definitely, beauty has died.

For Stoisser, the beauty of art, however, is not dead. Beauty, more than canon, was a product of representation and aesthetic investigation of the new; it IS. She has lived all this period of art’s disintegration, while she had a residence in Cadaqués, coming from New York and coming, previously, from Vienna and Leibnitz, a small place in the south of Austria. That mythical village Cadaqués, characterized as picturesque, an iconographic model that she ignores-and cosmic-the nature which she rediscovers-is a cemetery of elephants, of artists outside the dominant oscillation in the urban spaces. The memory of its identity is deposited-from Dali to Duchamp-and of those who passed through Man Ray and Magritte-authentic references. The art of Suse Stoisser, coming from an aesthetic tradition, takes on the canonic joviality of the avant-garde and the subtlety of a melancholic soul which fuses art and self with nature. She spurns anguish and nihilism in favour of a sensitive and autonomous art which is still possible. Her works reintegrate sculpture into the bidimensional planes of drawing, in the same way as drawing is connected, is inscribed in the space of sculpture. The fragility of linear drawing, which is later coloured, adjusts-and vice versa-to the taxing weight of sculpture and its physical condition. But the great artistic success of Stoisser is to give to the notion of void a figurative value. The emptiness of the figure, not the absence of a real one visible, but a complete absence that is at the same time the void and the fullness of art. It is a philosophical question indepted to the eye. Stoisser’s works have to be viewed. The weight, heavy, affirmative, of the sculptured material becomes light by iconic clarity, by visual frontal planes, by the chromatic spectrum. While making the subjects and the objects motionless, she fixes them like a still shot, and when she has stopped time, she lets the natural light circulate inside. Immediately, her drawings cut out the iron as Calder did with scissors, acquiring movement, not only on top of a narrative pedestal, but, also, on a still life. The fixed figures of Stoisser move on a flat sculpture which is dynamic, like the life of the imaginary.

The history of art is a history of iconic representations, only exceptionally have very high limits of pure abstraction been reached (Pollock, Rothko). Miró and Tàpies, for example, have always been considered realistic artists. However, the first one is hyper real and the second one combats imitative realism. As the aesthetic problems are also literary, since the written language carries memory while visual language forces one into the new. I still remember the impact made on me by the sculpture of Stoisser where on a column the pages of an unbound book were rising or flying. It is an authentic monument to the exaltation of memory, to the dignity of the book as the support of memory and, at the same time, an image of synthesis of the lyrical capacity of the support. What is it but a sculpture-but the materiality of volume in weightlessness?  Now she presents to us another work enormously impressive in a moment of disbelief: the  silhouette of two faces joined by the plane of an open book whose script is empty, that is, a text  which crosses the space by the force of its immateriality!  For those of us who believed that writing has its textual materiality, but also a physical energy, this work redefines the suggestion of a shared, amorous reading. To invite love is one of the motifs of art, its intrepidness crosses frontiers and limits. It is probably for that reason that one of the most majestic works of the exhibit is the portrait of a young woman stretched out as if to form a landscape. It is a classic icon of all times, since the virgin from her supremacy crushed the serpent. In the Renaissance woman was humanized, the object of desire took on visibility, up to the point that she will look at us face to face in  Ingres, in Goya she will be shown to us naked and dressed  and with two faces, and in the impressionism  she is without shame. Here we have the model emptied of herself, full due to art, redeemed, all of her dignified in the obverse and reverse of painting thanks to sculpture. As if it were a universal, the model is recreated in the style of the artist and in the adventure of the self from a new point of view of art in favor of beauty. This, if not more, we owe to Suse Stoisser.