Esther Stocker has compiled a great collection of work full or op art, dazzle ships and repetitive patterns which opened last night and rocked London. ‘What I don’t know about space’, Esther Stocker’s debut solo exhibition in London. Fascinated by “the vagueness of exact forms”, Stocker’s work oscillates between the exactitudes of formal minimalism and the ambiguities of abstraction. She builds deviations, optical breaks and hurdles, which simultaneously open-up and withhold the complex systems inherent in her thoroughly architectural forms. By introducing these layered optical breaks and interstices, Stocker “unworks” rigid structures and beliefs, finding new meaning in the abstract.

Esther Stocker’s installations and associated paintings are abstract compositions in space; drawings animated in three dimensions by material, colour and form. For this exhibition she has created a site-specific installation and a series of painted works, all continuing her investigations into the logics and rules inherent in depictions of space. Structured around tension and contradiction, the generative core of Stocker’s works lies in making and materiality, and is fueled by a desire to physically engage with the properties of those materials. She has a sustained fascination with breaking down the precise, giving herself over to decisions based on process and structure, looking to find a new type of freedom; a freedom in the neutral and imprecise. The resultant environments induce a stillness, sustained by an internal logic, yet the works ripple with latent, almost static activity; energy harnessed in both the materials and fragmentation of the space and forms within it.

In her abstract paintings Stocker unravels the internal logic of seemingly rational structures, using only grey, white and black. She projects several grid structures one on top of another, creating visual interferences and diversions. The spaces between leave the eye open to visualizing new ways of understanding. By exposing the inherent ambiguities of seemingly regular patterns, Stocker effectively undermines the confidence in the rationality of structures. Taking the methodologies of abstraction she questions painting’s ability to envelope all dimensions. In this, Stocker gestures towards a total handling of the space, using pictorial space as an experimental playing field.

For all their precision and careful balancing, Stocker’s installations and paintings do not so much communicate precarious fragility as an obdurate, unsettling instability. They occupy a metaphoric space between a focus and a blur, functional neutrality wherein one employs the methodologies of abstraction and reduction to simultaneously open up and withhold formal conceits, building an area of unclear perfection.

Esther Stocker (b.1974) has exhibited to much international acclaim, with recent solo and group shows including MUMOK: Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna ’08, ‘Abstract Thought is a Warm Puppy’, CCNOA Brussels ‘08, ART SHEFFIELD 08: ‘Yes, No, Other Options’, Millennium Galleries, Sheffield ’08, Galerie Krobath Wimmer, ‘08, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck ‘06, GALERIE. FOCUS WIEN, Kunstraum Innsbruck ’07, Centre d’Art de Neuchatel (CAN), Switzerland’06 & Wandarbeit Nr. 12, MUMOKKA, (MUMOK), Vienna ’06.

Thanks to Yorgo Tloupas for spotting the exhibition and Museum 52 for the info.