CURRENT: Florent Stosskopf: Eternal Flowers

Preview: Saturday 11 September (1-4pm)
Exhibition: 12 September – 16 October, 2021

Press Release
Artist Video
PDF catalogue of works
Exhibition Video

In his debut solo exhibition with the gallery, French artist Florent Stosskopf presents ‘ETERNAL FLOWERS’, a new series of works that simultaneously delight and dazzle the viewer. Stosskopf has ventured from his so-called ‘former life’ as a graphic designer to become the self-taught artist we see today. Hailing from Brittany, Stosskopf’s work explores the evolution of art through the ages.

Through conventional subject matter (nudes, portraits, still lives, and interiors) that has been handled in a surprising, whimsical manner, Stosskopf invites the viewer to reconsider the tropes that we are accustomed to seeing in the art historical canon. Stosskopf’s intent is to flatten the perceived hierarchy that exists between various art-historical modes of representation; his pieces challenge the traditional notion of the figurative and still life, readily adopting the influence of artists, both past and present. We see nods to artists like Matisse and Cézanne as enthusiastically as contemporary painters like Guy Yanai or Jonas Wood, for instance.

There seems to be a sort of intentional atemporality, where these scenes exist between any easily identifiable time and place. At times, Stosskopf’s interiors seem bucolic: the interior of some idyllic Provençal pied-a-terre or a reference to a floral bouquet a la Ruysch. But the placement of a contemporary art book within the scene, or a reference to a contemporary artist seems to upend the classification. As a result, there’s a sort of tongue-in-cheek beauty about scenes that seem always somewhat familiar, yet always somehow displaced.

This detachment from his pictoral mode is further accentuated by the use of bold and dazzling block colours and flat lines. His vibrant colours seem to reaffirm his Millenial status – amping up the saturation and playfulness to pay homage to art history while simultaneously poking fun at the artifice of the world he seems so fascinated by. Whether that be through deliberately placed object such as a Keith Haring book, or a skull plucked from Dutch painter Pieter Claesz ‘Vanitas’, Florent seems eager to keep us eternally guessing about his eternal flowers. 

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Florent Stosskopf is a self-taught painter based in Brittany, France. Stosskopf’s work deftly blends traditional themes and archetypes through a contemporary perspective, reminiscent of Jonas Wood, Guy Yanai, Hillary Pecis, or Paul Wackers, using bright, unrelenting colours that lay out his complex still lives and scenes plucked from the annals of Classical Antiquity, the Baroque movement, and Modernism. As a self-taught painter, Stosskopf’s art-historical endeavours are shared with the viewer: art books on Picasso, Matisse, and contemporary ‘blue-chip’ artists are depicted strewn haphazardly about a busy, albeit still interior space. Do these spaces belong to the artist himself, offering us a unique glimpse into the life and pursuits of a passionate young artist eager to engage in a greater context? Or are they fantastical narratives, carefully crafted based on his own pedagogical and artistic discoveries? The sheer flatness of the works references Stosskopf’s so-called ‘former life’ as a graphic designer, but it is precisely that sensibility that lends itself to such vibrant paintings, teeming with energy and joie de vivre. Constructed like collages, Stosskopf’s paintings use saturated and vibrant colours, remove shadows to heighten both their stylized and disconnect from reality, translating the three-dimensional world into block colours and flat lines, all while retaining the complexity of the image. We are extremely excited to introduce Florent to you with his first major gallery exhibition in his emerging – and what promises to be exciting – painting career.

FLORENT STOSSKOPF (1989, Rennes, France) is currently based in Brittany, France. The self-taught young artist holds a BA in Web and Graphic Design and an Advanced Technician Diploma in Communication from L’école Multimedia. Previously, Florent has had solo exhibitions in France (2016 & 2015) and he has also, more recently, taken part in group exhibitions at 19 Karen Gallery in Australlia (2020), and Antigalerie in Paris (2019). Florent’s debut solo exhibition with BEERS, ‘Eternal Flowers’ opens fall 2021.

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