Catinca Tabacaru Gallery presents Distressed Blonde, an exhibition of 13 white rabbits, one phoenix, a handful of medium-sized paintings and two large scale works for which the artist demanded new walls be built. This marks Stoicheff’s first solo exhibition in New York as well as the gallery’s first show with the Brooklyn based painter. Stoicheff is a material alchemist with two broken fingers. In her hands, base elements of linen, velvet, gypsum, dye and oil paint are transformed into an unknown alloy. Like a heavy case of jemais vu, she conjures weirdness from the familiar through quasi-magical imagery, mysterious surfaces and small cast objects. The work is simultaneously serious and Playful, often calling into question which is which - cute becomes ominous, common becomes strange.
The pieces presented here are visually bountiful. The large works evoke flags of imaginary countries with questionable ideologies or leftover artifacts from a commune that has collapsed into a cult. Her Manipulations of canvas manifest trompe-l’oeil hellish cave walls and dark sacred geometry one moment and bright hippie mysticism the next.
Upon these, marks of the painting process are allowed to coexist with intentional gestures, adornment and defacement at once. Small rabbits cast in Hydrocal or painted in oil populate the gallery, leaning against or sitting aloft larger works, inviting us to follow them down the rabbit hole that is Stoicheff’s eclectic practice.
Raised in a small town in rural Pennsylvania, Stoicheff received her MFA from Bard College, Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts, in 2005. She was the recipient of Robert Motherwell’s prestigious Daedalus Foundation Master of Fine Arts Fellowship in Painting, as well as The Elaine DeKooning Painting Award, and was recently the featured cover artist for Little Star Weekly literary journal. She has been with the gallery since its inception.