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Conscious Quintessence of the Abstract — a
renewed investigation on hidden meanings behind the abstract visual
accredited by the Cell of Research, Dept. Visual Arts Sint Lucas Ghent – High school for Science and Art – Belgium
research period: May 2010-May 2012
The project “The Conscious Quintessence of the Abstract” — a renewed investigation on hidden meanings behind the abstract plastic expression — of Erwin Clauws, reviews relations between abstract conceptions and abstract images and their meanings. The confrontation between an abstract concept and an abstract image evolves a borderline. The borderline becomes alive there where the image and the meaning of the concept cannot be overlapped. It is there, exact on the outer limits, at this borderline, that an interesting third truth and a more complete truth about image and meaning comes alive.
After two years of investigation, the plastic results can be subdivided in three categories or domains.
1: the abstract work of art and the title
Domain 2 : the abstract image and the metaphysical meaning
Domain 3: the abstract image and the light as extras.
The research reveals approximatively 70 works of art, all belonging to one of the three categories of investigation. But is is quite obvious that cross-links between categories and works are possible. The different approaches highlight the inseparability of the three categories.
The results of the investigations are expressed using different media of art: the abstract linear drawing, paintings, artist books, artist editions, photography, and space filling sculpture.
The seventy works will be revealed to the public at two different locations for exhibition. Globally the total presentation will be done by 4 different events.
26 february 2012: Roger
Raveelmuseum, Machelen-Zulte, exhibition
with a guided tour on the 26th of February
On show: results out of research domain 2: the abstract image and its metaphysical meaning; ‘the metaphysical landscape’.
and results out of research domain 3: the abstract picture and the light as extra.
FINISHED — more information and pictures about this event: click here
10 march - 22 april 2012: White-Out Studio, Knokke: exhibition
On show: results out of research domain 1: the abstract work of art and the title
FINISHED — more information and pictures about this event: click here
may - 17 juin 2012: White-Out
Studio, Knokke, window-exhibition
On show: results out of research domain 1: the special work ‘Le déjeuner sur l’herbe'
FINISHED — pictures of the window exhibition: click here
Note by the exhibitions: not all the works in the research were exposed. Here beneath all the works are shown.
More details about the 3 explored domains and about the individual works:
Domain 1: the Abstract work of art and the title
research domain investigates the
influence of a title given to an abstract work.
There are a lot of well known historical examples of artists who give their abstract work a title. I like to do the same. I wanted to explore how both items can be used in a renewed way.
A few examples of titles in the field of abstract expressionism and lyrical abstraction: Willem De Kooning (for example the title “Door to the river”), the Belgian artist Raoul De Keyzer (for example “Airy” and “Templeuve”) or the artist John Hoyland who called one of his works “Black Thing”. In the field of constructivism and minimal abstract art, artists like Barnett Newman used titles as “Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue? or Brice Marden’s “Chinese danse”.
combination ‘title - image’ served in history as well as
in my research 3 goals:
• the artists want to give a meaning to the work that cannot be given nor by the work itself nor by the title.
• They destroy the meaning of the read title. The fact that the image destroys the meaning of the title leads to reflection.
• When the word ‘abstract’ is spoken - meaning ‘something’ difficult to grasp it looses its originally meaning and stops to exists. What is it than that I want to to express by the abstract plastic language? Until now, there is no other word for ‘that’ that I want to grasp than ‘abstract’. And still, this is the main core of my profound interest.
In my research the plastic arts of my picture functions as an obvious reality. On the contrary, the title fills the (rational) mind with archetypal images also named primaeval images. Such a primal image does not have a well defined fulfilment of meanings. It makes the object on which it is projected glow with an unnatural glow. It is a bewitched glow because it has at once something attractive, fascinating but also something hideous and something disturbing, scary. The cluster of memories evoked by the archetypal title is an individual matter although a part of the memories can be considered as a common experience.
The psychic energy as the result of the combination image-title evokes a third and personal interpretation of the truth and meaning of the work. But this new ‘truth’ cannot exist without the 2 first elements nor can it exists without the borderline where the abstract and the real meets each other. I try to put both in a very delicate balance, very pure and this too makes that the work shows itself in a magistral, monumental way with an universal and metaphysical dimension. This personal differentiation of the historical ‘title-image’-combination lays at the roots of a further evolution and a renewed input of the abstract language in general and its renewed place in the contemporary field of art in special.
this first domain of research there are five kinds of works, each
time with a specific artistic problem to solve between the an
abstract image and a title.
There are the series “Abstract Characters”, the stand alone work “Le déjeuner sur l'herbe”, the series “Mirror … mirror on the wall, who has the most precious art in the hall?”, two editions namely “Six NOH Spaces” and “Six studies Amor de lonh” and the last, the artist book “How far… is distance?”.
• The series Abstract Characters
these works I researched the effect of connection of an universal
abstract title like “the Immovable” or “the
Heartless” to a very defined form. Such a kind of title has in
the human mind no “clear image” , not so ‘clear’
as the titles, mentioned in the introduction (even a title as “Black
Thing” calls up an imaginary image by cause of the word Black).
it’s possible that the titles from the series “Abstract
Characters” can call up a psychological feeling/memory by the
spectator what on his turn can cause an imaginary image. It can be a
person, somebody they know, somebody they hate, somebody they want to
be … It can also be something “not-human universal”
that takes no account of individual humans. This kind of title places
the spectator in a kind of underdog position when he cannot identify
him with the content of the title and in a superior position when he
can identify himself with the content of the title.
This is the difference with the titles from the introduction. In these titles the spectator stays in the same psychological reference of the title. He is capable to see literally a door or a river by the title “Door to the river” and he can place this image in his own living environment. Also a title as “Who’s afraid of red, yellow and blue” is as clear as possible for him. Every word “afraid”, “red”, “yellow” and “blue” belongs to his own environment and knowledge. This in contrast with the titles (and the strange line image) of the series “Abstract Characters” that take him, if he wants it or not, to another kind of psychological environment.
placing this kind of title to an explicit abstract line form —
that, from within its form, already tells the spectator that it wants
to be more than just a line or an outlined space — I realized
that during the research I did two things. First I gave the abstract
title a kind of visual face and second the abstract drawing gets a
universal character. Hereby the spectator is almost obliged to make a
decision: or he accepts what I, the artist, presents him or he
In both cases there is another kind of reflection by the spectator than in the titles and the earlier mentioned works. In these earlier mentioned works the thinking of the spectator is more poetic making the work a kind of illustration of human understandable visual and tactile things.
the creation of my “Abstract Characters” I didn’t
start from a title or a complete drawing. These two evolute in a
symbiosis from within a – at a certain moment – universal
feeling of a kind of character reference.
An example: by the creation of the work “the Heartless” grew — of course without knowing the title or having a complete drawing — an universal feeling of “an insensitivity with regret”, the feeling of “I’m sorry but I have to do this” from within the lines and the color I use. Once this kind of universal feeling becomes more and more clear to me, the creation process becomes quickly a defined form with a defined titel.
left: de Onwrikbare — l’Inébranlable — the Immovable — der Unerschütterliche — 2010 / pastel on heavyweight paper / 250 x 193 cm – a.c.216]
right: de Onwankelbare — l’Imperturbable — the Unshakable — der Unbeirrbare — 2010 / pastel on heavyweight paper / 250 x 193 cm – a.c.218]
left: de Onaanvechtbare — l’Incontestable — the Indisputable — der Unanfechtbare — [2010 / pastel on heavyweight paper / 250 x 193 cm – a.c.217]
right: de Aanwezige — le Présent — the Person Present — der Anwesende — [2011 / pastel on heavyweight paper / presentation on DiBond 4 mm —250 x 193 cm – a.c.243]
de Hardvochtige — l’Impitoyable — the Heartless — der Hartherzige — [2011 / pastel on heavyweight paper / presentation on DiBond 4mm — / 250 x 193 cm – a.c.244]
• The work “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe, part 1” and “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe: part 2, residual fraction”
work “Le déjeuner sur l'herbe” is derived from the
series “Abstract Characters”. In this work I reversed the
working method of the series “Abstract Characters”, by
means of the question: is
it possible to create an abstract image from
given and present abstract emotional feeling
is present in well known art works?
it was not the intention to create a kind of abstract image of the
visual part of the art work. The goal was not to make what we call an
abstraction (a reduction of the original art work to lines and forms
who have a compositional and coloristic visual connection with the
original work) or an illustrative abstraction (the original image is
by means of a game of coloured fields transformed to a
constructivistic image wherein the original image is tangible) .
In the original work of Manet we see and feel in the expression, the pose and the setting between the main characters a kind of rebelling unity.
This “rebelling unity” is analysed and visualized by me in my own way: first of all I made an abstract drawing of the unity of the human actors on the original painting in a colour setting that refers to the natural environment, indicated by the title and the remembrance to the original work. And a second part, exists out of two small boxes holding residual fraction: possible waste of an imaginary contemporary “Déjeuner sur l’herbe” and the real waste while I was busy to execute ‘Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe — part one”.
With this second part I tear the romantic (and wrong because not belonging to the intention of Manet) idea of the original painting in pieces (= rebelling) and bring the whole concept to the contemporary issue of environmental pollution by residual fraction. Time and wrong communication makes that there is not much left from the original intention of Manet’s painting in the minds of the mass public. Manet rebelled with his painting against the many idealized naked women on the works in “Le Salon”. In his opinion this nudes had nothing to do with the reality of their time and just served to hang in bourgeois interiors and secondly he referred with this painting to the well known but unspoken prostitution (by the same bourgeois) in the “Bois de Boulogne”. Me on my hand, I am rebelling by putting the attention to the environmental pollution and by taking in remembrance how far the idea or intention of an artist can be away from the perception of the public of the work..
It was a resolute choice during the research to give “Le déjeuner” the same dimensions and line drawing as the “Abstract Characters”, so it was possible to compare both ways of construction and to experience that the more dimensional construction of the Abstract Characters was able to express more universal values and the more 'flat' construction was more fruitful for specific personal or group values/emotions.
left: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe — part 1 [2011 / pastel on heavyweight paper mounted on DiBond 4mm/ 250 x 188 cm – a.c.238a]
right: Le déjeuner sur l’herbe — part 2, residual fraction [2011 / two containers filled with waste, mainly paper, plastics, pastel and glass / 90 x 60 x 28 cm – a.c.238b]
• graphic-photographic works “Mirror … mirror on the wall, who has the most precious art in the hall?”
the research period I gave myself the instruction to create, using
the photographic medium, a picture with slightly recognizable, half
figurative elements. It was my goal to make with the results a
graphic composition wherein the original photograph did not function
as a photo but as an abstract element between similar abstract
elements in a global composition. The adjustment of a famous sentence
out of a fairy-tale gives the work a second layer. It asks the
spectator to reflect about what he likes or not and to reflect over
the images that he can possible recognize in the graphic forms. (what
are they, what is there relation to the title?)
To the end of the research period there were three works finished. You find them below. With these three works as a base, I started to build up a series which will belong to my general output.
Mirror … mirror on the wall, wo has the most precious art in the hall? — nr. 1 (left) – nr. 2 (middle) – nr. 3 (right)
2011-’12 — 161x262 cm — digigraphy — Epson Ultrachrome K3 Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr — a.c. 270, 271, 272
• the editions “Six NOH Spaces” and “Six Studies Amor de lonh”
this part of the research I needed subjects that had a different
movement in time and space than the subjects of the Abstract
Character series, the “Le déjeuner sur l'herbe”
and the series “Mirror, mirror on the wall …” .
While in the earlier series time stands still and space is restricted
to one place, in the editions the subjects are of complex structures
moving in different time schemes and in different conditions of
In “Six NOH spaces” the subject is the psychological aura of theater pieces with subjects subtle interweaving real life and ghostly life. In “Amor de lonh” the subject is the unattainable love in earthly situations between two people, but also the metaphor for an unattainable connection with a higher Being, mostly called God. This unattainability has a religious subtheme.
While transforming these difficult themes in an abstract image I realized that it was only possible to use different pages and a kind of repetition. The edition and artist book were the correct choice, because I had myself restricted not to use moving image from the beginning of the research. The intimate atmosphere of the two subjects had also need of an intimate looking atmosphere. This was the second reason to choose for “edition” and “artist book”.
edition — Six NOH spaces
edition “Six NOH Spaces” contains six digital prints with
line drawings of an imaginary open-closed space. The classical
Japanese Noh theater space lies on the base of the drawings. This
space is determined in the corners by four vertical pillars. These
form orientation points for the masked Noh players during their acts.
The goal of each drawing is to visualize different psychological spaces opened and delimited by the game of constructed lines. Each drawing evokes a different atmosphere of a simultaneous reality and unreality. This is a comparable atmosphere with the atmosphere of an interacting real life with a spiritual life (mostly by means of a ghost world from ancestors or known warriors). During a Noh play, each acting scene, sentence, music have the task to shift the spectators to different psychologic mental spaces. This theatrical play of “real-unreal” in the Noh plays acts has a metaphysical nature, because it let reflect the spectator on his own fate and destiny in a cosmic view.
I tried to capture this metaphysical atmosphere in the edition's drawings by the use of light, almost ephemeral lines and the open-closed atmosphere of the unreal spaces formed by the lines.
The edition also contains a printed explanation about the soul of the NOH theatre. It is an extract out of the book “the classic Noh theatre of Japan” by Ezra Pound and Ernest Fenollosa. I could use this text as a preface with kind permission by the editor. Maybe it may also help the spectator to get interested in this classical Japanese form of theatre.
Edition Six NOH Spaces
Six digital drawings on paper: NOH Space n° 1 (a.c. 275a) – NOH Space n° 2 (a.c. 276a) – NOH Space n° 3 (a.c. 277a) – NOH Space n° 4 (a.c. 278a) – NOH Space n° 5 (a.c. 279a) – NOH Space n° 6 (a.c. 280a) • six original artist prints collected in a black cardboard box — each print 59,4 x 42 cm — Epson Ultrachrome K3 Ink on Epson Enhanced Matte Posterboard 800 gr — artist’s catalogue n° 281 • edition of 30 boxes — signed and numbered by the artist • © 2011 — concept, drawings, graphic design, prints — Erwin Clauws
(All rights reserved, no part of this edition may be reproduced in any form or by any means — mechanical, electronic or digital, including reproduction for use in www-based information — without written permission from the artist.)
edition — Six studies Amor de lonh
studies Amor de Lonh
inspired by the
contemporary opera ‘l’Amour de loin’ of the Finnish
composer Kaija Saariaho. While listening I started to make a visual
expression of the ‘unattainable love’. The curious
variations on a theme on the individual pages of the edition seems me
a valuable metaphor for the simultaneous unreachability and presence.
Each page contains a double composition and each composition evokes a
dialogue between his printed surface and a tiny line (added by hand
and pencil). Together each page expresses the idea and the symbolism
of mental unity of two lovers, but unreachable in material life. It's
a story of hope and longing, over and over repeated …
If, as a result of this edition, the spectator gets interested in the opera and/or the message of the unreachable love has a metaphor for the unreachable union with a God or if he wants to lose himself in related subjects as l’enamourement ( the poet who falls in love on somebody he has never seen: la jamais-vu and in the elements of reunion of the souls and the elements of the destiny of fate), or in Amar des amatz (the poet who loves but is not loved, only in the dream or in the future there is hope on a meeting with the beloved in which her only love will exists out of angry words), or la mort-par-amour (the notorious theme of death by love, a classic theme in all forms of art), ... if this interest is awakened it is a welcome addition to the visual expression I have made.
Edition Six studies Amor de lonh
Six combinations of digital print and hand drawn pencil on paper: Amor de lonh n° 1 (a.c. 283a) – Amor de lonh n° 2 (a.c. 283b) – Amor de lonh n° 3 (a.c. 283c) – Amor de lonh n° 4 (a.c. 283d) – Amor de lonh n° 5 (a.c. 283e) – Amor de lonh n° 6 (a.c. 283f) • six original artist prints with hand drawn pencil additions, collected in a black cardboard box — each print 59,4 x 42 cm — Epson Ultrachrome K3 Ink on Epson Enhanced Matte Posterboard 800 gr — artist’s catalogue n° 283 • edition of 30 boxes — signed and numbered by the artist • © 2011 — concept, drawings, graphic design, prints — Erwin Clauws
(All rights reserved, no part of this edition may be reproduced in any form or by any means — mechanical, electronic or digital, including reproduction for use in www-based information — without written permission from the artist.)
far … is distance?”
For this last research in the domain of “The Abstract work of art and the title” I started from an older idea that had already some sketches. It seemed very suitable to use it, because the theme of the question “How far … is distance?” is the most abstract theme in the whole domain. It was a real challenge to express an entirely abstract subject with a total abstract work. A visual answer was the only possible answer because there is no straight answer to that question. Although this visual answer gives just the idea to the spectator of being “an” answer, the spectator is quite satisfied because the complete book shows him also what he thinks and knows: there is no answer, the answer is constantly changing. So I used a line that is constantly changing. Although there is no answer to the question, this book is not a lie, but a real answer.
The book is completely drawn by hand and it is an “one-of-a-kind leporello”. The viewer is taken on a visual-philosophical journey of a simple line . The line passes in two different ways through the pages … (look at the video complete to see these two movements)
see all the pages in the book: click
here for a video
or click the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StMo2CVAo0k
How far … is distance?
[2007-2010 – “loop” -leporello artist book / black pencil on Whenzou paper / – heavy weight paper map: 32 x 49,5 cm / book: one “loop” = 22 sides 29 x 46 cm; total length: 638 cm – a.c. 106] • Edition of 9 copies and one artist proof • Map and pages are for each copy handmade by the artist. • Each specimen only on demand, slight variations in the drawings and the map are certain, number of copy included
Domain 2: the Abstract Image and the Metaphysical Meaning
landscape is one of the most important sources of inspiration in my
oeuvre. Not only in a global sense: nature, but also on its
microscopic scale. Also I am very interested in the invisible forces
which causes life and death and who are the reason why all creation
of life is so diverse. In a certain way, this forces, which appear
chaotic to us are ‘abstract’. My research allowed me to
develop two different contents. Those two topics were interesting
enough to develop some works of art around each of them.
The first category of works are concentrated around the ‘metaphysical landscape’. This is the landscape which makes people stand still to admire it. It is often the landscape of photographs and paintings. It is the untouchable, enigmatic landscape.
The second category of works is based on the chaos and structure as we can find it in nature. Birds and insects seems to fly in a chaotic way through the sky, natural growth of plants seems to be unpredictable and so on and so on ... and yet, after a while and close observation, this chaos becomes a kind of structure: birds becomes a group of migratory birds with a defined goal, natural growth becomes a graspable, limited form of a tree or a bush, thousands of different forms of life give existence to our earth …
The works in both categories contain an important metaphysical aspect. Metaphysics as a vision on a group of unknown and dominating powers embedded in the structured human, daily life of time and space and more and more discovered and proved as true by science.
First category — the metaphysical landscape
• project “A room with a landscape view” — part one “starting point”
This project in the research is born out of direct observation of the landscape and his details. It’s a roomfilling project containing 13 painted works, 10 charcoal drawings, a photographic work and a photographic artist edition with 144 pictures. These works are brought together in this research project for their influence and stimulation to other works and thinking in the research. Somehow they reveal a working process because there are also older works who complete the story . They were on show at the Roger Raveel Museum (Machelen-Zulte) from 22-26 February 2012.
work shows his own vision on the subject “landscape”, but
in one way or another they are all connected: visual or by content.
The act of showing them all together has been the result from a
picture I made at the beginning of the reseach. In this picture two
of my own works function as a kind of silent commentators to the
image that is seen in the middle: a landscape through a window. Not
only brought this picture me to the idea of bringing all these works
together so they could comment and complete each other in their
different visions, it also showed me the title of this part of the
research: “A room with a landscape view”.
On this picture one can see on the left and on the right side two of my abstract works. In the picture they don’t take the main role, they are only a kind of secret comment in a bigger constellation and composition. That’s the way I see landscape and nature. The two paintings are on show in the same room of the picture so people can see their real form, space and color. Their subtitle “Quand nous voulons faire comprendre le tout par le partie ou le partie par le tout” completes their setting and gives a small clue for understanding.
The remaining eleven paintings show an evolution from “landscape” to “metaphysical landscape”, an artistic very intimate research process (Painted Landscapes) that forms not only the base for a future image based lecture about the metaphysical landscape, but also the base for a further research on abstract forms, meaning and new abstract works like the series “Abstract Characters”, the series “Mirror … mirror on the wall, who has the most precious art in the hall?”, the photographic works and the editions “Six NOH studies” and “Six studies Amor de lonh”.
The importance of the works in the research is also illustrated by the series of charcoal drawings “Part of a landscape”. These drawings are tributary to the “Painted Landscapes” for their composition and drawing method.
The 144 pictures from the photographic edition “Part of landscape nr. 13 — 144 black and white shots”, recall the metaphysical never starting and never ending process of nature. The 144 picures – all variations on one concept – visualize the gliding moments of an unclear twofold proces. Men never know exactly which forces are in charge in nature: these of forming or these of destruction.
A room with a landscape view [2010-’11– picture mounted on DiBond – 58 x 35 cm – a.c. 241]
left: Quand nous voulons faire comprendre le tout par le partie ou le partie par le tout. (nr.1) [2006-’11– pigment and oil on raw canvas – 195x155cm – a.c.53]
right: Quand nous voulons faire comprendre le tout par le partie ou le partie par le tout. (nr.2) [2009-’11 – pigment and oil on raw canvas – 195x155cm – a.c.149]
• project “A room with a landscape view” — part two, the series “Painted Landscapes”
Reflections about ‘the landscape’
looking to landscapes makes it possible to look at them without
focussing on the individual forms of its content. What is left is the
global structure of power, forces in space which forms what we name
‘nature’. This reflection was the source of the ‘painted
landscapes’. It is obvious that these paintings (painted
Landscape 1,2,3) lay at the base of later paintings which became more
and more abstract appearances until finally nothing else was left
than a kind of essence which I named the metaphysical landscape
(Painted Landscape no 4,5). This metaphysical landscape tries to
evoke the whole of equivalent forces without the human
differentiation between good and bad.
This theme is also part of the lecture which is planned in the month of November 2012.
The development of the works shows clearly the core of the problem of the plastic visualisation and its research: how to represent a space which is made only by forces? The final paintings show a drawn line by a pencil. This outline forms the contour of a frontal perspective of a horizontal and vertical surface with therein a painted movement. It is the space where the drama of life happens. This outline, this space at his turn is the base for many later works. It is worth to remark that ‘the study of representing the drama of life by using an abstract line’ is a worthy and logic continuation of the essence of the metaphysical landscape. This study has led to several important works in this research. Because of this importance I incorporated this series of older paintings in the research. The “metaphysical landscape” is the point just before “abstract art”.
left: Painted landscape 1 [2005 – pigment and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
middle: Painted landscape 2 [2005 – pigment and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
right: Painted landscape 3 [2006 – pigment and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
left: Painted landscape 4 — Metaphysical landscape [2006 – pigment and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
middle: Painted landscape 5 — Metaphysical landscape [2007 – pigment and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
right: Painted landscape 6 [2007 – pigment, pencil and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
left: Painted landscape 7 [2007 – pigment, pencil and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
middle: Painted landscape 8 [2007 – pigment, pencil and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
right: Painted landscape 9 [2008 – pigment, pencil and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
left: Painted landscape 10 [2008 – pigment, pencil and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
right: Painted landscape 11 [2008 – pigment, pencil and oil on raw canvas – 70x50cm]
• project “A room with a landscape view” — part three, the series “Part of a landscape” (charcoal drawings)
left: Part of a landscape 1 [2008 – charcoal on paper – 34,5x29cm – a.c.112]
middle: Part of a landscape 2 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 47x31cm – a.c.159]
right: Part of a landscape 3 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 48x32cm – a.c.160]
left: Part of a landscape 4 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 48x32cm – a.c.165]
middle: Part of a landscape 5 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 36x25cm – a.c.162]
right: Part of a landscape 6 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 51x36cm – a.c.163]
left: Part of a landscape 7 [2008 – charcoal on paper – 31x32,5cm – a.c.164]
middle: Part of a landscape 8 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 58x42cm – a.c.169 – in private collection]
right: Part of a landscape 9 [2010 – charcoal on paper – 56x36cm – a.c.219]
left: Part of a landscape 10 [2010 – charcoal on paper – 47x31cm – a.c.220]
middle: Part of a landscape 11 [2011 – charcoal on paper – 51x36cm – a.c.259]
right: Part of a landscape 12 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 48,5x26cm – a.c.260]
• project “A room with a landscape view” — part four: photographic edition“Part of a landscape nr. 13 – 144 black and white shots”
photographic images in a special wooden box.
Nature is a process that never starts and never ends. The 144 vague photographic shots show the process of evolution through a period of time which is not further determined. Some details on the pictures are recognizable. These pictures are extremely balancing between abstract and meaning.
see the box and a part of the images:
here for a video
or click the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81CBPTBhn5Q
Part of a landscape nr.13 — 144 black and white shots
[2010 – 144 photographic pictures in a wooden box – box: 47,5 x 38,5 x 12 cm / photographs: 33 x 24 cm – a.c. 199]
Photographs are printed by the artist on digital Fine Art paper, Fibaprint© White Semi-Matte 300 gsm with durable Epson Ultrachrome K3 Ink, box in lightwood is handmade by the artist.
First specimen, following specimen on demand. (with follow up number, max. 9 ex)
• project “A room with a landscape view” — part five, picture based lecture: The metaphysical landscape? A missing link … ?
Only by means of my artistic research practice I was able to distillate in Western art history a rare kind of landscape/nature artworks. They bear a general image character that evokes a combined “religious–mystic” + “esoteric-meditative” space in the artwork and are recognizable by typical pictorial and compositional elements. These artworks occur occasionally from Roman Antiquity until today.
I named this kind of landscapes, with their typical characteristics, metaphysical landscapes.
In the first part of the lecture their pictorial “religious-meditative” characteristics are analyzed from within their compositional nature elements and placed against a framework of “non-religious-meditative” landscape art works. Their creation is also related to the spiritual thinking of the artist himself.
second part covers the position of this metaphysical landscape
as a turning point in an artistic
career and the need of a lasting but evolving religious-esoteric
insight by the artist to capture the religious aspects of nature in
as well a metaphysical landscape as in his future works.
Piet Mondriaan and his work is used as a standard model in this point of view.
From within my own art practice and research project I explain a contemporary use of the metaphysical landscape to become a room-filling art project (A room with a landscape view) that reflects different religious-esoteric aspects of landscape/nature onto the spectator and also (in relation with Mondriaan) how my metaphysical landscape has been the source to build up new contemporary abstract artworks with a universal ‘men-nature’ content.
Dates and places of presentation: coming soon
Second category — Chaos versus structure
In this second category of the research domain “the Abstract image and the metaphysical meaning” lies the research focus on chaotic structures that are in the same time a unity. I tried to visualize that chaos does not exist. Chaos is formed by our own intellect because mankind is not developed enough to see the underlying rules and laws in a lot of natural phenomena. I realized three projects in this category . Each project gives a vision on the reality of structure in chaos.
• project “Di sette giorni” (or seven times three drawings)
started, with the innocence of a child, to “draw” seven
intuitive cercle-spiral forms on a piece of rice-paper and this seven
times. These seven drawings were entitled “Una realità”
Then I measured exactly the place of the spots and putted these results into a drawing program on computer. Based on a preconceived system I connected the points. These connections were on their term the base for a second series of code-system drawings with black pencil and black ink. This series I called “Nero e Grigio” (each 150 x 98 cm).
The third series “Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni” (each 225x98cm) is a visual and colourful playing field with the forms of the second series — again by means of computer software manipulation. In this series I gave free entrance to imagination …
Below the 21 drawings — in the correct ratio to each other — in 7 groups of three related drawings.
• Realità QXV —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QXVA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QXVB colori giallo, giallo scuro e sanguigno — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• Realità QIV —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QIVA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QIVB colori nero e cremisi — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• Realità QIX —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QIXA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QIXB colori blue-jeans, giallo e nero seppia — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• Realità QXIII —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QXIIIA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QXIIIB colori verde e rosa — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• Realità QXIV —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QXIVA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QXIVB colori azzurro e verde — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• Realità QX —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QXA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QXB colori nero seppia, giallo ocra, terra di siena bruciata e grigio — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• Realità QXI —2010 — 100x70 cm — ink on rice paper
• Nero e Grigio QXIA — 2010 — 150x98 cm — ink and pencil on rice paper
• Corpi, Colori ed Improvvisazioni QXIB colori azzurro, fresco verde e nero — 2010 — 225x98 cm — dye ink on rice paper
• project Cell&Bodyworks
and Bodyworks is the umbrella title given to two types of works in
this project: small
drawings with pastels on canvas
the one hand and
scale charcoal drawings on paper on
the other hand.
Both represent a plastic investigation towards the birth of form out of movement on a macro- and a microcosmic scale.
Especially interested in “partly revealing knowledge” by intuitive scientists and unfinished experiments by contemporary alchemists … it is for me very clear that their research is powerd by esspecially one cosmic item, namely “Creation” . Therefore “Creatioin” is one of the most important factor for human development and all human actions. Maybe in a very far future “creation” could be the inevitable reason for the principle behind human spiritual brotherhood … despite their different faiths or religions.
works in the project Cell&BodyWorks are mainly “drawn
works” or works that have “the primal act of drawing”
as a subject or a target.
This act of “abstract continuous drawing” (not to be confused with “automatic drawing”) is a double metaphor. A metaphor for the almost blind though conscious human research to reveal the secrets behind Life and a metaphor for the never ending act of superhuman Creation.
left: Cantharidine Creating I [2009 – charcoal on raw canvas – 70x50 cm – a.c.179]
right: Ptomaïne Creating I [2010 – charcoal and pastel on raw canvas – 65x73 cm]
Creatine Creating II [2010 – pastel on raw canvas – 65x83 cm] with detail
left: Creatine Creating I [2010 – pastel on raw canvas – 50x70 cm]
right: Cantharidine Creating II [2009 – charcoal on raw canvas – 78x71 cm – a.c.180]
left above: BodyWork 1 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 150x190 cm – a.c.148]
left below: BodyWork 4 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 150x220 cm – a.c.175]
right: two details
left: BodyWork 2 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 150x190 cm – a.c.173]
right: Bodywork 3 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 150x220 cm – a.c.174]
BodyWork 5 [2009 – charcoal on paper – 265x150cm – a.c.176]
• project “RED Line Space Sculpture”
Line Space sculpture is a spatial project. It explores the principles
which give form to and the principles of deterioration in nature
(such as the principle to hang,to lean, to pull, to undouble, to
repeat, femininity and masculinity). This principles are not used in
order to make a copy of nature but to build space filling structures
which evoke a feeling of construction or deconstruction in the mind
of the spectator. The sculpture is to understand as a site-specific
Due to the red color, the material (plexi) and the l-formed profile a visual link is made towards the industry which often treats nature with violence but which is also subject to construction and demolition.
Ps: The photographs only want to show some of the possibilities and do not show a completed sculpture.
RED Line Space sculpture [©2011 – variabel sizes – a.c. 186]
Domain 3: The Abstract image and the Light as extra.
this work area, light is
the primary extra (I see “the photographic picture itself “as
the main character). Light has a dualistic “abstract-recognizable”
character which makes that it's possible to use it in artworks
wherein this dualistic “abstract-recognizable” character
is recognizable. In doing so, light used in a different way than
usual. The usual way is to use it as a source to see something in the
dark or as a “spotlight and a way to catch attention”.
In my working area Domain 3, light is a necessary part in some scenery and photographic settings wherein my own art takes a part. The light takes the same content related place as the other compositional elements in the total scenery. The result is that light has changed from abstract into “something with a character” . It's own meaning as a blank source has changed and that change changes also the meaning of the other elements.
There are two kind of works in this domain of research. First there are the stand alone photographic works and second there are two semi spatial lightworks. “Semi” because one part of the work is on the wall, and the second part is an extra light source in the room.
The photographic images are composed out of three actors: the present daylight (in most cases coming from the left side, so it refers to the genre works of J. Vermeer – without persons), the presence of my own, abstract work in the photo, not as the main subject but as a part of a compositional game with the others element and third, the everyday temporary interior space, studied from within its pictorial richness en not from within architectural or emotional worth. The whole serves for a picture to let see pictorial richness in visual poor spaces. This pictorial richness is emphasized by use of the contemporary technology of inkjet printing.
• Stand alone photographic works
left: Starting a set up for a picture with LED light and an abstract painting. — 2012 — 44x35 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 284
right: Dawn, an abstract painting and an old off line television. — 2011 — 39,5x45 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 239
left: Composition in a room with a towel and the first morning light. —2011 — 37x24,5 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 242
right: Still life with cellar light and “Petit Manseng” grapes in a plate on a table. — 2011 — 40x39 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 267
left: Basil on a microwave on a fridge. — 2011 — 48x33 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 268
right: October light, coffee and tea. — 2011 — 39,5x40,5 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 273
left: Two reflections — 2011 — 39,5x40,5 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 240
right: Two studies for “Dawn, an abstract painting and an old off-line television” on a wall. — 2011 — 37x24,5 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 274
Ticino, anno 1997. — 2011 — 49x31 cm — picture — Epson Ultrachrome Ink on PhotoRag 308 gr, mounted on DiBond 4mm — a.c. 282
• Two semi spatial works with light
spatial work is characterized by the use of semi-poor materials. Poor
materials are materials out of daily life but without a specific code
like design, antique, kitsch etc. I like to use an ordinary wall in
spatial work as a symbol for the classical presentation of an art
piece. Walls become in my work a subject. They become a place of
action, the place where the piece of art find his birth or his
Other elements in this spatial work are spatial lightness and of course light.
“... … … ...”
under the form of a projection is the main source to make the visual
expression of this work. The light , here a projection of a light
blue plane on the wall, is placed in a setting with two daily objects
of a normal exhibition: an oval golden frame with an image in it and
a small title plate. I searched for an image and a title (text) that
in combination with the light changes the ordinary look of the image
and that gives another meaning to the light than just being a blank
It is not possible to reveal the title text, otherwise the shock of the content swift of the light and the image (a little child with a small dog in his arms) will fail to occur at the spectator .
That's way the work is named “… … … …”
The dimensions of this installation depends on the available space. A site-specified setting will was on show in the RogerRaveelmuseum (22-26 February 2012).
“... … … ...”
[2009-’11 – projection, frame, photographic image, charcoal, text plate – variable sizes – frame:37,5 x 46,5 cm – a.c. 186]
• LED one
‘LED one’ is an installation of a LED light source and an abstract brief intervention on the wall. It was on show at the RogerRaveelmuseum from 22 - 26 february 2012
“Led one” —[2012 – LED light, tripod, wall, metal dots — 240x200x120cm – a.c. 285]
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