When cave painters spat color pigments across the back of their hands, when in Japan kimono patterns were being printed and when in France wallpapers were being manufactured or art prints duplicated, then people always needed stencils. Since the year one, the use of stencils had always been a common procedure to put motifs into place. Later the development of modern print technology and after that digital print medias managed to replace this fascinating method almost completely. The craft had virtually been forgotten.
During the 70s, artists often deriving from the punk scene started searching for repetitive, precise and quick ways of spreading their messages and drawings in public areas - stenciling appeared again as ideal technique. Today this technique, is called “stencil art”, is enjoying a revival, a genuine renaissance. In the past eleven years, the Colab Gallery has occasionally invited well-known stencil artists. From the 18th of November on, the gallery is dedicating an own group exhibition completely to this fascinating art direction. Nine artists from all over the world have been invited to show their striking pieces of art.
Regardless of whether paint brushes or rollers or cans of spray paint have been used later, stencils demand an arduous preparation. However fast the act of producing the actual job might be, the process of preparation is just as or even more time-consuming. All decisions in concern of color, shape or lines are made before cutting out the motif out of the cardboard or plastic sheets. The more precise this work takes place, the more the result will become accurate and predictable.
In spite of the various possibilities of use, stencils nevertheless remain tools that are often destroyed after being used and find their way to becoming waste. Our invited artists, however, happen to do so in such an exclusive way that by using this universal and tried and true technique their art holds an unmistakable, personal style.
We are looking forward to presenting to you Samina from Portugal, Joe Iurato from the US, Mando Marie from the Netherlands, the collective Monstfur from Poland, Neur One and RNST from France, as well as Stefan Winterle from Weil, am Rhein and Stinkfish from Columbia. The participation of John Fekner from the US deserves being emphasized, as him being - next to Blek le Rat- a pioneer and founder of modern stencil art.