Presentation

Stephan Balleux is a pluridisciplinary artist ; he is indeed an extraordinary painter  but also a sculptor, as well as a videos or performances author. He is the child of a century during which collecting images was the inaugural act of creation. Thus, though he is a painter, he began doubting about painting, following the example of Marcel Duchamp and later of serial approaches of Pop art and conceptual art.  He is painting from the collection of images already existing and differs painting itself by collecting. Then his ambition as a painter is entirely dedicated to de-featuring. But such an ambition does not only consist in destruction or in a common devastation due to some bad painting ; there is indeed some kind of paradox in the means used by Stephan Balleux to de-feature. He de-features by being a master of featuring. The symbol of this paradox relies in this strange paint magma, savagely brushed aside as well as meticulously detailed in every single fold or wave and which the artist calls « blob » and which symbolizes his whole production of painted images.

In many artworks, this artificial form seems to benefit from the same weightlessness as the one of a cloud : a hanging and pending form which questions banal images in order to reveal a new signification. On the other side, when it is invasive, attacking on monuments or human activities, it invades the faces and seems to recover it all. This is the case for this series of portraits that we are showing, i.e. women?s faces, whether seductive women or mothers ? some of them coming from our collective imagination and which seem to be battling with their rough futures, i.e. a kind of future perfect.

This is precisely this confusion, this impossibility to decide on human beings and their identities, which extends to the material itself and which might well be at the root of Stephan Balleux?s work. The confusion centers around and mainly expresses itself through the idea of fuzziness as a process but also in terms of reception : « No image can escape from fuzziness, neither can any sound escape from scattering. Reality itself is web of vagueness. Fuzziness never stops questioning both our perception and our representation of the world and reactivating them as if it was concealing or telling a promise of clearness, knowledge, beauty, something beyond confusion ? Fuzziness is a prerequisite in our relationship to the world and to artworks ». It is about identity confusion, confusion of the material through deterritorialisations and its disguises but also about the artist questioning himself. Indeed, beyond the diversified and disturbing nature of the suggested artworks, Stephan Balleux?s work quickly strikes by the coherence as well as by the pertinence of his questioning. He really asks himself about identity and painting?s place in a digital and virtual age.

Extract from a text of Dominique Païni called Painting and its double, ed. Ixelles Museum, Brussels, Belgium.

Biography

Born in 1974. Lives & works in Brussells.


SOLO EXHIBITIONS

 

2015
La Galerie Particulière, Paris

2014
La Peinture et son Double, Musée d?Ixelles, Bruxelles

2012
Spectrum, Weproject, Bruxelles

2010
Sui generis, Think 21 Gallery, Bruxelles
Reflux Stills, Sherin Najjar gallery, Berlin, Allemagne

2009
They shoot horses don?t they, Wardlow Art Residency, Melbourne, Australie

2008
Brothers, Think 21 Gallery, Bruxelles

2007
Introduction, Think 21 Gallery, Bruxelles with Michael Salter & Jeanne Susplugas
Der Schlaf der Vernunft gebat Traume, Beat Gallery, Berlin, with David Leleu, Curator : Francois Danthine. Germany


2006
Painting painting 2.0, C.C.De Bogaard, Sint-Truiden, Belgique

2005
Monographies d?artistes arts 00+5, Médiatine, Bruxelles (catalogue)with Gudny Rosa Ingimarsdottir
Off Biacs, Belgian off art forum, Seville, with Arnaud Gerniers
Painting painting 1.1, Grusenmeyer Art Gallery, Deurle, Belgique
Black sun. In the mood for light 2.0, Belgan Off Art Zone, Bruxelles with Arnaud Gerniers

2004
Panoptique. Pierre Hallet Gallery, Bruxelles

2003
Virtu.In the mood for light1.3, Belgian off art forum, Bruxelles
Moving Images, Belgian off art forum, New-York with Arnaud Gerniers




GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2014
Capita Selecta, Broelmuseum, Kortrijk, Belgique
Art Public Tournai, Tournai, Belgique
Art at the Core: The Intersection of Visual Art, Performance and Technology, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, USA

 

2013
Voyages intérieurs, Maison particulière, Bruxelles

 

2012
Subject / Matters, Frédéric de Goldschmidt collection, Bruxelles
Présent, la centrale électrique/de Markten, Bruxelles
Pop-up, musée d?Ixelles, Belgique
Jubilations héroïques, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, Paris

2011
ABC-Art Belge Contemporain, FONDATION CULTURE ET DEVELOPPEMENT, avec lieux associés ? Sofia, Bulgarie

2010
DE DÜRER A JAN FABRE. Chefs-d?oeuvre, Musée d?Ixelles, Bruxelles
ABC-Art Belge Contemporain,curated by Dominique PAÏNI and Pascale PRONNIER,      LE FRESNOY, Studio national des arts contemporains, France
miXed. Curator : Stef Vanbellingen, Gent, Belgique
Coup de Ville. Curator : Jan Hoet and Stef Vanbellingen, Sint-Niklaas, Belgique
Artbarter Berlin, HBC, Berlin

2009
Last day of magic, Scalamata Gallery, Venise. Curator : Jan Vanwoensel
Rites de passage, Glaspaleis, Heerlen, Pays-Bas. Curator :  Pier Luigi Tazzi
Fading, Ixelles Museum, Bruxelles. Curator :  Sven Vanderstichelen
No style no glory, Lanchelevici Museum, La Louvière, Belgique. Curator : Pierre Henrion
Un-Scene, WIELS, Centre d?Art Contemporain, Bruxelles. Curator :  Devrim Bayar,
Charles Gohy and Dirk Snauwaert
Sales -0%, Think 21 Gallery, Bruxelles
Artbrussels, Think 21 Gallery, Bruxelles

2008
Un-Scene, Curator : Devrim Bayar, Charles Gohy and Dirk Snauwaert, WIELS, Centre d?Art Contemporain, Bruxelles
Arianne de Rothschild Art Prize, Bruxelles
Habeas corpus, le Botanique, Bruxelles
AMUSEZ-VOUS, Galerie Koal, Berlin. Curator : Johan Delcour & Monia Warnez
Atelier Berlim, Galeria Presenca, Porto. Curator : Jurriaan Benschop

2007
Artes digitales.
B.U.D.A, Kortrijk, Belgique. Curator : Christophe Dejaeger
Screening Artes digitales, Tellic arts exchange, Los Angeles
Pushing the canvas, De Garage, Mechelen, Belgique. Curator, Koen Leemans
Video Killed the Painting Star. Domus 2002 , Salamanca, Espagne

2006
Ephemeralityr, Menen, Belgique. Curator : Christophe Dejaege
Factura, De Markten, Bruxelles. Curator: Fik Vangestel
Film premiere screening 001 (The exhibition re-curated). Ellen de Bruine Project
Amsterdam. Curator: Jan Van Woensel
Victorian Circus II, Brakkegrond, Amsterdam

2005
La Belgique visionnaire, Bozar, Bruxelles. Curator: Harald Szeemann
Boost in the shell, De Bond, Brugges. Curators : Michel Dewilde, Jérome Jacobs
After nature, Aeroplastics contemporary, Bruxelles
Kimiyia. In the mood for light 2.2, Belgian Off Art Zone, Bruxelles. Curator: Raphael de Gerlache
Stippels & pixels, De cirk, Gent, Belgique. Curator : Stef Vanbellingen. 
Play time (After nature#2), Aeroplastics contemporary, Bruxelles

2004
No friture, Kunstverein Mannheimer, Allemagne
With Aline Bouvy und John Gillis, Michel Francois, Nadia Kever, Emilio Lopez Menchero,
Xavier Noiret-Thomé, Christophe Terlinden, Paul Casaer, Anne Daems,
Simona Denicolai & Ivo Provoost, Tina Gillen, Gert Robijns, Sven´t Jolle, Dennis Tyfus, Dimitri Vangrunderbeek
Angle, 1st Intern ational short-film & Video festival. Xiamen. China
L?expo de vos reves, Médiatine, Bruxelles. Curators: Yves Lecomte, Christine Fonteyn
Bruxelles-Capitales, Paris Province, Centre Wallonie-Bruxelles, Paris     
Is the medium is still the message?, Hisk, Antwerp. Curator : Stef Vanbellingen
Jeunes peintres belges, galerie Usagexterne, Bruxelles. Curator: Claude Lorent



TEXTS, ARTICLES & INTERVIEWS

2008
- Muriel Andrin, «Du trouble de la peinture, Stephan Balleux et l?exploration de l?identité
  picturale», l?art meme n°39
- Jurriaan Benschop, «Een schilder die niet vreemd kan gaan», Stephan Balleux (catalogue)
- Claude Lorent, «Avec ou sans pinceau», Stephan Balleux, (catalogue)
- Muriel Andrin, «Du neuf au bout des yeux, en continu, «Stephan Balleux et les métamorphoses picturales» extended version, Stephan Balleux, (catalogue)
- David Ulrichs, «Stephan Balleux, interview», H Art n°34

2007
- Muriel Andrin, «Du neuf au bout des yeux, en continu, «Stephan Balleux et les métamorphoses picturales», Artes Digitales (catalogue)
- David Ulrichs, « The Sleep of Reason produces dreams », H art

2006
- Ulrichs, David, « Subject to Change: Taking the Temperature of Young Belgian Art »,
  Lapiz n° 224

2005
- Claude Lorent, «Avec ou sans pinceau», Monographies Arts-5 (catalogue)
- Stef Vanbellingen, «Het vloeibare beeld», Monographies Arts-5 (catalogue)
- Muriel Andrin «To paint or not to paint, «Stephan Balleux or the question of painting at the age of virtual art», Monographies Arts-5 (catalogue)
- Claude Lorent, «La nature dans tous les sens», La Libre Belgique,
- Claude Lorent , «Monographies. Duo 00+5», La Libre Belgique
- Claude Lorent, «Des visions sous objectifs», La Libre Belgique
- Jeroen Laureyns, «Van pointillisme tot digitale kunst», De Tijd
- Muriel Andrin, «Dialogue, De l?acte et de la pensée», Is the medium is still the message ? (cata-logue)

2004
- Muriel Andrin, «Etendre la conscience : Stephan Balleux ou l? Expanded Painting», net essay,          nuages.org
- Roger-Pierre Turine, «Panoptique. Stephan Balleux, peintre», La Libre Belgique
- Roger-Pierre Turine, «Jeunes Peintres Belges», La Libre Belgique

2002
- Daniele Gillemon, «Stephan Balleux, entre un certain silence et une provocation bravache»,
  Le Soir
- Claude Lorent, «L?art se prend-il au jeu ?», La Libre Belgique
- Roger-Pierre Turine, «Une peinture qui cogne», La Libre Belgique

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