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About Renee

Baltimore County

Renee van der Stelt's visual practice and research focuses on contemporary drawing, with recent focus around complexities of human relationships toward the natural environment, mapping and revealing overlooked spaces, including the politic of the body in contested space.  She has received grants and residency awards in support of her work including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, BOPA, TKF Foundation, MacDowell Colony, Roswell Artist in Residence, and Kaus... more


Detail image: Two drawings from a 3 year series of two actions: scoring & folding.

My work represents a range of investigations into drawing as a question and as an ongoing practice of inquiry into the way we see and understand the world. The goal is not necessarily to always make an object, or to find an answer - but to sustain the question and to use drawing as a vehicle for a range of investigations. With an MFA in Drawing from the University of Iowa (over 20 years ago) I continue to practice & explore what drawing means as a visual form of philosophy. I see the action of drawing as one of the most direct (perhaps, if possible... non-linguistic?) ways to express the complexities of thought through sight and actions, into looking & being. To learn through quietly looking and drawing, the things I so often can not see or understand, and to do this in relation with things that are not always socially engaged or driven. Perhaps things that are outside of society and language, which so often determine the way the world is understood.
In particular, I have recently been exploring:
1 - creating an illusion of order by systematically selecting visual/artistic choice through limiting a portion of my drawing to only scoring and folding.
2 - Recording found lines of movement on rural or urban landscapes through graphite lines on the page, video, audio recordings.
3 - questioning, and giving up singular authorship for projects by working with and being open to working collaboratively.
4 - How can I drawn the wind? How can a scored and folded drawing exist in space through the sound or movement, and how can this also represent a drawing?

  • Installation from "Out of the Blue", Kaus Australis, Rotterdam

    Site drawings mark time through the trace of morning light and evening shadows. Scored and folded pages respond to the found shadows.
  • Installation from "Out of the Blue", Kaus Australis, Rotterdam

    Site drawings mark time through the trace of morning light and evening shadows. Scored and folded pages respond to the found shadows. Videos record transient movements of lines on land. A set of twelve drawings depict a grid of over one million (1/16”) white squares. The squares might serve to visually depict nearly half the number of prisoners currently in the U.S. correctional system, or may correlate to the current number refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war. An audio recording of the lines drawn for this project connotes ocean waves on a shoreline.
  • Score/Fold 10/25/2012

    Page scored and folded so the drawing or sculpture come off the wall. These drawings also includes drawing on both sides of the page. The shadows and light cast on the scored and folded pages are directly related to the greys of the drawing. The drawing extends past the page to the wall through light and shadow. it is important to also note that the way in which these pages can be hung is variable and so there is not a set/finished product for this and the other works in this series of score/folded pages.
  • SPIN: 5º/20 Minutes

    Detail of 52 x 72" drawing of globe spinning. This drawing was an attempt to answer the following (ongoing) question: How can a drawing reveal and show hidden movements in space?
  • SPIN: 5°/20 minutes - 150°/10 hours, 2011, graphite on paper, 52 x 72” Mercator, 1538; Central Meridian 70° Longitude, 10° graticule, 2011, ink on cut paper, 50 x 60 x 10”

    Renee van der Stelt uses map imagery in her drawings as a strategy for exploring how space is considered. Two and three-dimensional drawings present didactic information in descriptive and poetic ways. Works in this exhibition include a global map of the spinning globe and a cut drawing of two global maps, rearranged in layers upon the wall. "SPIN: 5º/20 Minutes" depicts the Northern and Southern hemispheres movement through time and space for 150º, or 10 hours. The steady spin of earth throughout time is not tangibly seen or felt, but is a fundamental part of understood reality.
  • Score/Fold

    Detail of grid scored 1/16", on 19 x 24" page. One of over 100 pages from Score/Fold: Graphite Variables series. The works are presented together in grid on wall with pins at top of each page. van der Stelt muses: The repetition of scoring and folding creates a time and space for systematic reflection of assumptions as they relate to aesthetics, art production and labor. Questions include the following: what variables are revealed through slight alteration of movement/choice within the constraints of ‘score’ and ‘fold’?

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