He is a sculptors and his "language stems from such domains as alternative comic books or the dark world of fairytales often prone to strike fear into its (younger) users (...) Rogiers is toiling through the matter with synthetic resin and cast aluminium attempting to generate an oblique and "different" imagery out of sink with what we recognize in 'our' world." (Luk Lambrecht)
Catch Hell Blues (*)
On the latest sculptures by Peter Rogiers
The sculpture by Peter Rogiers (°1967, Antwerp) is anchored in the literal characteristic of the photographic reproduction of reality as it was wrested with the motif of a human pose transformed through photography by the two-dimensional levelling of shortened perspectives. Peter Rogiers' language stems from such domains as alternative comic books or the dark world of fairytales often prone to strike fear into its (younger) users; they are popular expressions which for that matter do not think much of the so-called High Culture where good taste is the criterion for quality and a smooth distribution within the linked market and museum circuit. The art world has a modus operandi where content is pushed off the road and the work of art fades to formal "primary structures".
Peter Rogiers is toiling through the matter with synthetic resin and cast aluminium attempting to generate an oblique and "different" imagery out of sink with what we recognize in "our" world. Therein lies the core and essence of real artistic production – the desire to mould into a plastic shape undermining visual recognition and shunt man onto the track of imagination. Peter Rogiers recently created new so-called "bird sculptures" where the bird is barely an echo of the verbal reference and has become the alibi to freely conjure with abstract forms visually varying according to the place and viewpoint of perception.
The sculptures remain "human"; they were visibly made through "trial & error" and still show traces of a firm and undisturbed artist bending the world to his will. Like the title of the expo – "Guitar solo's in wicked nature seasons" – these new sculptures received such titles as "The Governess" and "The implosion of Jonathan Swift" shifting the associations to domains as the fairytale and rock-'n-roll of the rougher kind.
The new 'colourless' sculptures with an elegant silhouette withstanding the resemblance of a bird transform and "peel" within the sculpture to an abstract skin reminiscent even of the perforated canvas of Enrico Castellani; the Italian artist who in the wake of the zero movement attempted to escape the obligation of formal categories and labels. The new sculptures by Peter Rogiers are 'colourless' and are placed on and attached to a jagged and functional frame of pipes keeping the work "earthly" and transparent in appearance and composition. The new white "bird sculptures" are less "attractive" than the recent white palm trees: the "birds" are crippled deformities leaning towards Jeroen Bosch where the beauty is hiding in a bolster of artistic recalcitrance. Not the reference is the criterion but rather the full and expansively creative composition of an image not "inspired" by gratuitous feelings, corny moaning or transparent mimesis.
The creation process of these sculptures is not surprisingly hard labour; the process of creation is hindered by technical problems in keeping shapes together, finding fragile balances and making sure that at the end of the day the sculpture remains standing in this world. Peter Rogiers is and remains one of those sculptors who averse from all personal interests is stuck with his art in brave stubbornness to (certainly) not give into creating any form of languid art whatsoever.
In other words, art which does not brighten up but cheers up through the adventure in the form through which Peter Rogiers pleases and confronts us with the reality of the banality surrounding us. His new drawings can further be considered catching thought-moulds where worlds tilt and imagination chases off the grimy reality.
Luk Lambrecht - 28.12.2009
(*) song of The White Stripes
Opening: 21 Jan 6p.m.
Tim Van Laere Gallery
Verlatstraat 23-25, 2000 Antwerp
Open Tuesday until Saturday 2 - 6 pm