Christian Stock at Gezwanzig / Vienna, Austria

Christian Stock / Cube Painting

9 November 2023 - 14 January 2024

Gallery Gezwanzig

Gumpendorfer St. 20

Vienna, Austria

Christian Stock is known for his "cube paintings", which are generally shown horizontally to support the thousands of layers of paint applied over years. He has been painting monochrome pictures with astonishing persistence since 1983. Paintings that are also sculptures. However, these "mixed forms" are by no means complicated or sprawling picture-space constructions with which a painter attempts to move from the second to the third dimension, but rather clear, compact, monochrome bodies of color that reveal the reason for their double character at a second glance.

Surfaces are painted over and over again on a small canvas until a real, representational cube is created. This usually takes several years. The "Red Cube Painting" 1999-2023, (acrylic on canvas, 25 x 25 x 25 cm.) in the exhibition has occupied Stock in his studio for 24 years. In addition, 3300 squares were painted on top of each other, and just as many sheets were painted, numbered, dated, and signed, resulting in an area of 200 square meters. The cube painting, the sheets, and the supports on which the sheets were painted are all presented in a wooden box.

The gallery is also showing the "Square Suns / Monochrome Expressionism", which represents the individual layers of color of the relatively small cube paintings on a large scale and the painterly attempt to unite two classic opposites in one painting: The intellectual, considered, monochrome with the expressive, direct, gestural. Moreover, the canvases are not stretched on stretcher frames and thus form a kind of frilled edge framing through being painted.

New works of smaller paintings on paper, entitled "Thin painted paper" and "Thick painted paper", where one layer of paint is enough and the "thick painted papers" require many layers of paint on top of each other.

Stock’s studio practice ultimately asks more about the value of an artist's labor than about the quality or originality of the picture. What is the value of (artistic) labor?