Kirsten Stolle

What Goes on Here

December 1, 2017 – February 3, 2018

Artist vs. Monsanto: Kirsten Stolle shines a light on chemical companies.

Press Release

Tracey Morgan Gallery is pleased to present What Goes on Here, a solo exhibition of works on paper by Asheville based artist, Kirsten Stolle. The exhibition features three series: Chemical Bouquet, By the Ton, and Faith, Hope, & $5,000. A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, December 1st, from 6-8 p.m. Stolle’s carefully composed collages and text-based works examine the influence of agribusiness and biotech companies on our food supply. Mining source materials such as 20th century medical books, agricultural equipment catalogs, and archival photographs, Stolle’s evocative work responds to corporate propaganda and challenges industry narratives. Drawing on 19th century floral still life paintings, Stolle’s Chemical Bouquet collages comment on the use of harmful herbicides and the genetic modification of plants by global chemical corporations. Victorian flower bouquets have been subverted and populated with odd, unsettling imagery⎯all elements associated with Monsanto Chemical Company products. Bloated cow udders, syringes, 18-20th century medicinal and botanical plants (corn, soy, rapeseed, cotton), and aspirin pills and bottles overflow from vases wrapped in Agent Orange barrels. Stolle’s striking, large-scale ornately framed works offer a considered critique of chemical intensive farming practices. Using collage, silkscreen, vintage postcards and archival photographs, By the Ton spotlights the practice of corporate greenwashing and exposes the troubling history of the agrichemical industry. Stolle extracts words and phrases from chemical company advertising, superimposing text over historical photographs. These sparse works, layered with multiple meanings, reframe and recontextualize corporate messaging. In the debut of her new series, Faith, Hope, & $5,000, Stolle draws on the history of found poetry and manipulates both typography and graphic elements to create non-narrative poems. Using the appendix extracted from a mid-1970’s corporate history of Monsanto Chemical Company, Stolle reassembles each page to explore found text in a visual format. The final sixteen-piece installation made up of excised and pasted chemical names, alludes to the interplay of image and text, and gives new unexpected content to the original material. Born in Newton, Massachusetts in 1967, Stolle relocated to Asheville after 19 years in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work is included in the permanent collections of the San Jose Museum of Art, (San Jose, CA), Crocker Art Museum, (Sacramento, CA), and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, (Minneapolis, MN). Select solo exhibitions include NOME Projects (Berlin), Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (NC), and the Turchin Center for Visual Arts (NC). Her work has been published in numerous publications including Made in Mind Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Spolia Literary Magazine and New American Paintings. She is a recipient of a PollockKrasner Foundation Grant, a Dave Bown Project Award, as well as grants from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Artists’ Fellowship Inc., Puffin Foundation, Change Inc., and the Creative Capacity Fund.