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Belgian contemporary artist Stijn Cole lands in Mexico with his solo exhibition “Horizons, 2022”, a spring-themed series of landscapes and paintings.

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Stijn Cole is a photographer who works with views to express a concept of time, colour and how humans see and experience reality. His use of media is alternative, as he draws, paints, produces sculpture, installations, and photographic work. He creates abstract and figurative images where content and form reinforce each other. He uses skylines and horizons as recurring theme of our looking, as well as time and light which influence the landscapes. Cole uses the perspective of the viewer to determine the appearance of the work. “Cole doesn’t want to show us the landscape, he wants to immerse us in it and influence our view forever” (Robert Hoozee). He has had solo exhibitions at venues such as Galerie Iréne Laub, Brussels, Belgium (2021) and Galerie Wender in Zurich, Switzerland (2019).


Stijn Cole, Souvenir / Double Exposure, Spring Summer, 2022. @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera


The exhibition is presented as a composition of works truthful to the artist’s practice, renowned in a variety of languages, media and bodies of work as a conceptual description of time. Cole's personal experiences and memories play a significant role as these are translated into landscapes and places, used as a catalyst for the watcher to recall its own memories; a process that allows each person to project their own experiences onto another's Each piece - like a souvenir - seeks to celebrate a particular instant by emphasising the beauty of an ordinary point of view.


Stijn Cole, Vslmt, 2022. @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera


This new series of Cole’s artworks emerged from a trip to Mexico in the spring of 2022, where he visited a great number of places including Mexicali, Monterrey, Hermosillo, Puerto Peñasco, Chipinque, Metepec, Querétaro and Mexico City, spotting the numerous landscapes to convey each idea.

Cole uses the title “Solid Horizon” for both of his new sequences of artworks; the first is inspired by the Mexican traditional ceramic plates as he uses Mexican clay from Metepec, Oaxaca, Cintalapa, and Zacatecas, that create an abstract horizon through a straight line. Then, the former series is a collection of selected pieces of marble sheets from quarries from other Mexican areas such as Tehuacán, Puebla, which like tectonic plates, push against each other, outlining new surfaces.


Stijn Cole, La puerta Sonora 26/3/2022 10:18, 2022. @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera


Stijn Cole, Double Exposure Spring, 2022. @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera


The artist relies on a number of strategies to communicate and make the experience very subjective, such as his own body scale. He does this by installing the artworks inside the gallery at his own eye level. 

Cole isolates the elements within his photographs to make colourful paintings. These paintings take the name of “souvenir” paintings that, as follows, use technology to break down and rearrange the distinctive parts of the landscape, in order to obtain different degrees of abstraction. The technical and conceptual procedure of the pieces acquire a sentimental reason as the short-lived memories, nature and light are presented for everyone to understand. The photographs and paintings are then often presented adjacent to one another to create a full experience for the watcher.


Stijn Cole, Biosefera el Pinacate 26/3/2022 10:38, 2022. @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera


Stijn Cole, Souvenir Veracruz, Marble, 2022. @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera


The opening of the exhibition will take place on August 31st in Mexico City at Hilario Galguera Gallery in correspondence with Horizons (a selection of spring), 2022 at Heart Ego Gallery in Monterrey, Mexico. Horizontes, 2022 will open with a private viewing on August 30th, 2022 and will remain open until October 15th, 2022.

Cover image: Cole Stijn, "La puerta Sonora 26/3/2022 10:18, 2022." @CourtesyofHilarioGalguera

Written by: Sveva Berto

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