Manipulated Grids: Artwork by Esther Stocker

An optical painting with a shifted grid of black squaresO.T., acrylic on cotton

Esther Stocker works in installation, video and painting with a very cohesive, geometric aesthetic. The artist’s black and white works focus heavily on contrasting lines and manipulated grids.


Many of Stocker’s works have a definite op-art appeal to them, like the works of Bridget Riley in the 1960’s. Rows and rows of straight lines, or hard grid patterns are sometimes placed on uneven surfaces to manipulate their shape, while other times they are painted in a directly illusionary manner. Stocker’s recent installation work “The Vagueness of Exact Forms” takes advantage of the stark white of the gallery space, hanging unfinished squares of solid black throughout the room to create a confusing perspective that overwhelms the eyes.


An installation with black squares hung throughout the gallery spaceThe Vagueness of Exact Forms, installation view at Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, 2014

In that same vein of utilizing a full room for her art, Stocker has also created a series of wall murals in buildings in Germany, London and Vienna. Each painting utilizes the motifs of black and white, slightly skewed grid patterns of squares, playing with awkward or tight spaces to create enveloping optical illusions. 


A geometric, black and white wall mural in a staircasedispersion on wall, staircase, Bonn

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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