Carla Arocha + Stephane Schraenen

  • Blue, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm

    Blue, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm

  • Brick, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm_w

    Brick, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm_w

  • Ocre, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm.

    Ocre, 2015 Acrylic on canvas 100 x 70 cm.

  • Trait 6, 2005-2017 Original drawing on lithography ink on paper 94 x 73 cm.

    Trait 6, 2005-2017 Original drawing on lithography ink on paper 94 x 73 cm.

  • Trait 7, 2005-2017 Original drawing on lithography ink on paper 94 x 73 cm.

    Trait 7, 2005-2017 Original drawing on lithography ink on paper 94 x 73 cm.

  • Untitled 3, 2016 Ink on paper, 63.5 x 53 cm.

    Untitled 3, 2016 Ink on paper, 63.5 x 53 cm.

  • Untitled 1, 2016 Ink on paper, 63.5 x 53 cm.

    Untitled 1, 2016 Ink on paper, 63.5 x 53 cm.

  • Exhibition view

    Exhibition view

  • Exhibition view

    Exhibition view

  • Exhibition view

    Exhibition view

Carla Arocha (Caracas, 1961) and Stéphane Schraenen (Antwerp, 1971) artistic practice is the result of a common effort and a shared vision that has been uninterruptedly developing since their first official collaboration at the Kunsthalle Bern in 2004. The work of Arocha + Schraenen is a constant enquiry on visual culture, modes of perception and, more broadly, on reality itself. Their practice is influenced by the 20th century European and Latin American abstract tradition specially by those experiences stemming from Minimal Art and Op Art. Their work is characterised by a great formal coherence that has allowed them to develop a highly singular artistic vocabulary which very often takes the form of site-specific installations and concerns itself with the productive relation that arises between subject, object and context.
For this exhibition the artists have conceived Walk The Line (2018), an installation that includes their signature modular veils that although ethereal in appearance dramatically transform the gallery space. These curtains made of double-sided plexiglass mirror not only restructure the space but also deeply affect our perception of it as well as it raises questions about our own subjectivity. The rigid square shaped grid sharply contrasts with the resulting optical illusion where an infinite mesh of crossed reflections mercilessly fracture the space thus forcing the viewer to physically and affectively reposition itself. It is indeed the viewer’s continuous self-questioning what triggers a form of self-awareness that allows Arocha + Schraenen to investigate issues around perception and meaning making processes.
In addition, Walk The Line (2018) also points to Arocha + Schraenen’s interest in choreographing the movements of the viewer; in this case we see how the distribution of the curtains imbues the space with a certain sense of rhythm and fluidity that influences the viewer’s behaviour and pace. Adjacent on the walls there are a series of near- monochrome paintings that effusively interact with the installation adding an element of colour that enriches the overall optical illusion. After a closer inspection, however, the Lime, Violet, Ochre, Light Green...(2015) paintings, whose colours where chosen randomly and painted using mechanic procedures, reveal subtle paler shades shapes that reference the paintings’ own formats. By pairing down these paintings with the aforementioned installation, we perceive not only a desire to allow the paintings to transcend themselves, to occupy the space, but also a will to create a sensory and psychological experience that somewhat recalls the 50s-60s Neo Concrete experiments in South America.
The pristine quality of Arocha + Schraenen overall body of work should then not be misunderstood as self-contained or autonomous. Quite the contrary, their artistic practice transcends the more static concept of the exhibition to give way to a form of exhibiting that is closer to a situation or event—Arocha + Schraenen multilayered work is the result of a complex entanglement of ideas that creates an inner narrative that favours a dialogue between the pieces, the space and the viewer. In such a context, the viewer is at the centre of their artistic concerns as it is only with his or her physical presence that the works activate. The beholder’s moving eye is key in Arocha + Schraenen practice in order to exhaust all the possibilities of a given space and to trigger an intimate process of interaction with the works on display.
The contiguous space showcases the Untitled (2016) and Trait (2005-2017) drawing series that again underlines the reflexive and collaborative nature of Arocha + Schraenen’s artistic practice. The result are delicate and harmonious compositions that although draw from the European lineage they also distance themselves from it by relaxing the grid’s rigidity and by using a vivid and rich colour palette. These drawings also contain a playful tone meant not only to ‘trick the eye’ but also to increase the emotional and affective engagement with the viewer.
Carla Arocha and Stéphane Schraenen have exhibited widely throughout Europe, the United States and Latin America. Recent exhibitions include: Tickle, Suburban, Milwaukee, US (2018) , A Studio Visit, C A S S T L, Antwerpen, Belgium (2017), Restlessness, Isabella Czarnowska Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2017), Concrete, curated by Ziba Ardalan, Parasol Unit, London, UK (2016).
This year they participate in Sanguine/Bloerood, curated by Luc Tuymans (M HKA, Antwerp and Fondazione Prada, Milan) as well as Estructuras Vivientes at the XIV Cuenca Biennial in Cuenca, Equador. Their work is part of institutional and private art collections such as MoMA New York, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago Contemporary Art Museum, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, US), CAB Burgos, Fundación de Arte Cisneros Fontanals (Miami, EE.UU.) and F.R.A.C. Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (FR)

CARLA AROCHA Venezuelan, born Caracas, 1961, lives Antwerp, Belgium
STEPHANE SCHRAENEN Belgian, born Antwerp, 1971, lives Antwerp, Belgium


Look Out, Galeria Maior, Pollença, Mallorca (SP)

Walk The Line, Galería Maior, Palma de Mallorca (SP)
C2H6, Pulsar, Antwerpen (BE)
Tickle, Suburban, Milwaukee WI (US)

A Studio Visit, C A S S T L, Antwerpen (BE)
Marauding in Molenbeek, Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen and Nicolas Kozakis Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels (BE)
Restlessness, Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen + Markus Dobeli, curated by Ory Dessau, Isabella Czarnowska Gallery, Berlin (DE)

New works, KaBe Contemporary solo booth, Untitled Art Fair, Miami FL (US)
Concrete, curated by Ziba Ardalan, Parasol Unit, London (UK)
New works, Isabella Czarnowska Galerie solo booth, ARCO-MADRID 2016 (SP)

Landscape, curated by Jesus Fuenmayor, PINTA, Miami FL (US)
In A Rhyhtmic Fashion, HAP Gallery, Portland OR (US)
Trace, Isabella Czarnowska Galerie, Berlin (DE)
DOT, curated by Lieven Segers & Frank Koolen: 120 minuten project, Art Brussels, Brussels (BE) In A Rhyhtmic Fashion, Glyptotheca, Zagreb (HR) Landscape, L.A.R.V.A., Guadalajara (MX)

Persiana (a 10 year survey), curated by Tommy Simoens, Carla Arocha and Stéphane Schraenen, CC De Garage, Mechelen, (BE)

Click, KaBe Contemporary, Miami FL (US)
What Now?, Isabella Czarnowska Galerie, Berlin (DE)
Sunday, Wako Works of Art, Tokyo (JP)

Looking For Clues, ltd Los Angeles, Los Angeles CA (US)
The Discrepansy Between the Pale and the Dark Zone, Ganes Pratt, MALA Gallery, Ljubljana (SI)
Caraota von Moules with Arturo Herrera, Künstlerhaus Bethaniën, Berlin (DE)
After, CAB de Burgos, Burgos (ES)

Cabin Fever, Cabin, Antwerp (BE)
Five Colors, Editions Copenhagen, Copenhagen (DK)
Circa Tabac At the Wallace Collection, curated by Ken Pratt, Wallace Collection, London (UK)  Carla Arocha – Stéphane Schraenen: Framed and Vaast Colson: Screwed, BeLa Editions, Brussels (BE)

Undertow, KaBe Gallery, Miami FL (US)
25°85’08” N - 80°12 ‘03”, curated by Agency PLC at NADA Miami, Deauville Hotel, Miami FL (US)  Waterloo Station, Peter Pilotto winter 2011, Fashion Week, Waterloo Station, London (UK)
As If, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago IL (US)
Sequence #4, Koraalberg Gallery, Antwerp (BE)

Gloria, Vegas Gallery, London (UK)

Hier Waak Ik, Periferico, Centro de Arte Contemporaneo Caracas, curated by Jesus Fuenmayor, Caracas (VE)
If Only, André Schlechtriem Contemporary, New York NY (US)
Marauders, Schlechtriem Brothers, Berlin (DE)
The Man You Love To Hate, Koraalberg, Antwerp (BE)

Fire Walk With Me, curated by Montserrat Albores, Mexico City DF (MX)
Marauders, Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago IL (US)

Chris, André Schlechtriem Temporary, New York NY (US)
Carla Arocha – Stéphane Schraenen, Koraalberg, Antwerp (BE)  Chris, F.R.A.C. Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (FR)


Sanguine/Bloerood, curated by Luc Tuymans, M HKA, Antwerp (BE)
A Hole Variety, curated by Yannick Ganseman, Aleksei Kazantsev and Joris Vanpoucke, LWM18, Antwerpen (BE)
The Gathering, curated by Pantera.Today, Pantera.Today, Brussels (BE)

20 Years NICC, curated by Guillaume Bijl, Nicc Antwerpen, Antwerpen (BE)
Club Conscious, Observatorium, Antwerpen (BE)
ABC LOUNGE KLUB, ABC Klubhuis, Antwerpen (BE)
Nico Dockx, be not just collective, but connective... (exploring relations out in the open), in collaboration with Nico Dockx, OH LES BEAUX JOURS, 9ème Biennale de Louvain La Neuve curated by Angel Vergara and Joël Benzakin Louvain La Neuve (BE)
MANOEUVRES, Art project AboutArt Annick Ketele, Brasschaat Campus Coppens, Braschaat (BE)
Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen: Marauding in Molenbeek and Nicolas Kozakis: Ferrari Rosso Berlinetta Perl 266154, Kusseneers Gallery, Brussels (BE)
Dissent in Wonderland, infiniteflowersplusone #3 PLUS-ONE Gallery, Antwerp (BE)
Pulsar #1: edition, Pulsar, Antwerp (BE)
Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen + Markus Dobeli, Isabella Czarnowska
Gallery, ARCOmadrid 2017 Art fair, Madrid (ES)

Angelehnt: Antonio Calderara and Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen, KUNTPARTERRE, Munich (DE)
Booth D5, curated by Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen, KaBe Contemporary, Miami FL (US)  Flujo Disperso / Blurry Flux, Espacio Mercantil, Caracas (VEN) 
Wake Up and Dream, curated by Nils Verkaeren, ETAGE22, Antwerp (BE)
Hollandaise, curated by Ken Pratt and Antony Ferrer- de Maillol, New Art Projects-Dutch Embassy, London (UK)
Logica Difusa, Los Galpones, Caracas (VEN)
The Magical Surface: The Uncanny in Contemporary Photography, curated by Zeba Ardalan, Parasol Unit, London (UK)
The Gap, curated by Luc Tuymans, MUHKA, Antwerp (BE)

Unterseeboot Uber Malermeister, Curated by Guy Van Bossche, CC De Garage, Mechelen, (BE) The Devil is in the Details, Curated by Jesus Fuenmayor, KaBe Gallery, Miami FL (US)  Landscape – Spacing, Pulsar, Antwerp (BE)
Big, Espacio Molitor, Caracas (VEN)
Some Works, Pulsar, Antwerp (BE)
The Gap, curated by Luc Tuymans, Parasol Unit, London (UK)
My Lonely Days Are Over Part 2, curated by Arturo Herrera, Arratia Beer Galerie, Berlin (DE) International Laundry 2, curated by Mike Bouchet, Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt (DE)
A Belgian Politician, curated by Lieven Segers and Tom Liekens, Marion De Canniere, Antwerp (BE)

Threshold, curated by Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen De Garage, Mechelen (BE) Limited Visibility, curated by Natalia Zuluaga and Patricia Hanna at CAM, Raleigh NC (US)
15 de los 90/ Quince de los noventa, curated by Lorena Gonzalez at Fundación Sala Mendoza, Caracas (VEN)
En Blanco y Negro, Kabe Contemporary, Miami FL (US)
Museum to Scale 1/7, Kunsthal, Rotterdam (NL)
HOW SIX MEN GOT ON IN THE WORLD, Fresh Eggs Gallery, Berlin (DE)
Museum to Scale 1/7, The Baker Museum, Artis-Naples FL (US)

Selected Works: Carla Arocha & Stéphane Schraenen, Louis Lawler and Markus Döbeli Isabella Czarnowska Galerie, Berlin (DE)
Museum to Scale 1/7, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels (BE)
Place Is the Space, Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis MO (US)
The Distaff Side, The Melva Bucksbaum collection at the Granary, Sharon CT (US)
CAB Burgos Collection, El Centro de Arte Alcobendas, Madrid (ES)

Spectral Metropole, curated by Ken Pratt, City Museum (Mestni Muzej), Vzigalica Gallery, Ljubljana (SI)

New Art From Belgium, Galerie Christian Nagel, Berlin (DE)
You Never Walk Alone, curated by Vanessa van Obberghen, Worksound, Portland OR (US)  Artefact 2011, S.T.U.K., Leuven (BE)
New Art From Belgium, Galerie Christian Nagel, Cologne (DE)

Into the Light, Royal Museum of Fine Arts, Antwerp (BE)
The Raw and the Cooked, curated by Clayton Press and Gregory Linn, Anna Kustera Gallery, New York NY (US)
New Art From Belgium, Galerie Christian Nagel, Antwerp (BE)
The State of Things, curated by Ai Wei Wei and Luc Tuymans, National Art Museum of China, Beijing (CN)
POP-ARTPOP-ART, NICC (New International Centre of Culture), Antwerp (BE)
Célébration, F.R.A.C. Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (FR)

The State of Things, curated by Ai Wei Wei and Luc Tuymans, BOZAR, Brussels (BE)  Setting the Pattern, Koraalberg, Antwerp (BE)
5x5 Castello 09, Espai d’Art Contemporani de Castello, Castello (ES)

Moments in Time, The Witte Zaal, Ghent (BE)
De Narcisse A Alice, ISELP, Brussels (BE)
Wallpaintings 9+1/1+9, curated by Koen Leemans & Luk Lambrecht, Bksm — Beeldende Kunst Strombeek/Mechelen, Cultuurcen- trum Mechelen, Mechelen (BE)
Prospect 58, curated by Pieter Vermeersch, Hessenhuis, Antwerp (BE)
Brussels Biennial: Art as Borderland, 3 site-specific installations, curated by Barbara Vanderlinden, Brussels (BE)
The Urban Tendency, curated by Ken Pratt, London Architecture Biennial, London (UK)

Reflecting Surface, The Agency Gallery, London (UK)  Metamorphosis III, L.A.C. Lieu d’art contemporain, Sigean (FR)  Project Space, André Schlechtriem, New York NY (US)  Metamorphosis III, Museo Abello, Barcelona (ES)

- American Express, New York NY (US)
- Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago IL (US)
- Benedictine University, Chicago IL (US)
- British Airways Collection, O’Hare International Airport, Chicago IL (US)
- CAB De Burgos, Burgos (SP)
- C.I.F.O., Miami FL (US)
- F.R.A.C. Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand (FR)
- F.R.A.C. Bourgogne, Dijon (FR)
- Fundación Banco Mercantil, Caracas (VEN)
- MCA, Chicago, IL (US)
- MOMA, New York NY (US)
- MUHKA, Antwerp (BE)
- Nationale Bank Van België - Banque Nationale de Belgique, Brussels (BE)
- Stiftung Kunsthalle Bern, Bern (SC)
- The Melva Bucksbaum Foundation Collection, Sharon CT (US)
- Walker Art Center, Minneapolis MN (US)