Stephen Eichhorn: “Arrangements” Greg Stimac: “Along for the Ride” at CES Contemporary, by James Scarborough
There are two concurrent one-man shows at CES Contemporary. Stephen Eichhorn has a series of collages, “Arrangements.” Greg Stimac has a set of scanned photographs, “Along for the Ride.” Although their work comprises two separate shows, the two artists share a few interests. Both deal with found objects. Eichhorn harvests botanical images from books. Stimac scans photographs of bugs that smashed up against the Plexiglas panel he mounted on the front of his car during a cross-country trip. Both treat pictorial space as blank slates on which to map. Their spaces are boundless and fertile. In addition, both show the fruit of their respective journeys. Eichhorn rummages, Stimac traverses. Eichhorn shapes his found botanical pictures into globes. These globes hover in vibrant monochromatic skies: yellows and greens, blues and oranges. Their boundaries, fuzzy and irregular, he forms with texture and color. These globes are flat (a technical matter; they’re culled from books). This suggests daytime botanical fireworks or else schematics of landscaped gardens. Stimac aggregates his Plexiglas-as-flypaper road kill into maps of constellations. At first glance, they seem to be stars; angels, even. Stimac arranges the bugs in diminishing scale. The smaller the bug, the deeper the space. There’s no boundary, no focus point. Everything about the piece screams randomness. The odds that a particular bug smashes into the Plexiglas panel the moment it crosses paths with Stimac’s car are astronomical. But the compositions are anything but random. Stimac balances his surfaces the way that Jackson Pollock balanced his.
Both artists, then, are cartographers. Their source material, palettes, and techniques may differ, but both bring taxonomical order to journeyed chaos. For both artists, their genius is in their genus. Both create global communities (Eichhorn, flowers; Stimac, bugs). Eichhorn’s feels geographic; Stimac’s feels astronomic. Eichhorn’s are blustery and vivid. Stimac’s are all-over and measured. His works feel spontaneous while Eichhorn’s feel deliberate. Yet, both of them isolate and then reconfigure nature, once or twice removed, to suit their needs. Both suggest a correlation between art and mapping. A voyage of discovery, articulation, and then sharing.