Pieter Obels

Pieter Obels (1968)

Lives in Tilburg. Works in Tilburg.

Galerie Roger Katwijk
Amsterdam - Nederland
In spite of the fact that steel is generally considered to be rough and austere, Pieter Obels’ sculptures seem to be controverting the intrinsic possibilities of the material. When one looks at Richard Serra’s monumental steel slabs and wonders at the curves he manages to give his material, feelings of huge weight, size and strength arise. Pieter Obels works with corten steel, yet his works conveys above all lightness and grace, as he bends the steel into extraordinarily delicate and winding shapes. The two artistic worlds couldn’t be further apart. It is almost as if we are watching the yin and yang of the same material. Through a clever interplay of rigidity and dynamism, Obels’ work occupies a space deftly lingering between a sense of weight and weightlessness. His sculptures completely confound our preconceptions of how a steel sculpture should look and behave. The curves in the work appear to defy what the material can be persuaded to do. Obels aim is to create totally organic forms with an extreme, yet somehow innate, sense of plasticity. This sense of a natural rhythm makes his sculptures sit in total oneness with any natural environment. Rather than imposing themselves upon their surroundings, they appear to mirror the soft edges and harmoniousness often evident in nature. Notwithstanding the apparently cold material, the curves of the form and the rusty brown colour of their oxidization, enable them to create a bond with the surrounding ambience. Working alone without assistants, Obels has, however, permitted this aspect to dominate his works, while at the same time emphasizing the elegiac quality they possess. Although totally contemporary, there is in his work a strong wistfulness for a bygone age, which favoured poetry over power and fragility and balance over industrial noise. The sense of a precarious balance which many of his works have, plays beautifully with the apparent contradiction inherent in his material. His works echoes the world we would like to inhabit: a world dominated by beauty and an awareness of nature. The curve, as opposed to the straight line, recalls a gentler, less severe universe where objects do not repel, but embrace, where dialogue is always possible and agreement is always found.
In spite of the fact that steel is generally considered to be rough and austere, Pieter Obels’ sculptures seem to be controverting the intrinsic possibilities of the material. When one looks at Richard Serra’s monumental steel slabs and wonders at the curves he manages to give his material, feelings of huge weight, size and strength arise. Pieter Obels works with corten steel, yet his works conveys above all lightness and grace, as he bends the steel into extraordinarily delicate and winding shapes. The two artistic worlds couldn’t be further apart. It is almost as if we are watching the yin and yang of the same material. Through a clever interplay of rigidity and dynamism, Obels’ work occupies a space deftly lingering between a sense of weight and weightlessness. His sculptures completely confound our preconceptions of how a steel sculpture should look and behave. The curves in the work appear to defy what the material can be persuaded to do. Obels aim is to create totally organic forms with an extreme, yet somehow innate, sense of plasticity. This sense of a natural rhythm makes his sculptures sit in total oneness with any natural environment. Rather than imposing themselves upon their surroundings, they appear to mirror the soft edges and harmoniousness often evident in nature. Notwithstanding the apparently cold material, the curves of the form and the rusty brown colour of their oxidization, enable them to create a bond with the surrounding ambience. Working alone without assistants, Obels has, however, permitted this aspect to dominate his works, while at the same time emphasizing the elegiac quality they possess. Although totally contemporary, there is in his work a strong wistfulness for a bygone age, which favoured poetry over power and fragility and balance over industrial noise. The sense of a precarious balance which many of his works have, plays beautifully with the apparent contradiction inherent in his material. His works echoes the world we would like to inhabit: a world dominated by beauty and an awareness of nature. The curve, as opposed to the straight line, recalls a gentler, less severe universe where objects do not repel, but embrace, where dialogue is always possible and agreement is always found.

CV Pieter Obels

Pieter Obels 1968 Woont en werkt in Tilburg 1988-1992 Academie voor Beeldende Vorming Tilburg Solo Exposities (selectie) 2019 Gallery RosenfeldPorcini, London 2019 Galerie Roger Katwijk , Amsterdam 2018 Etienne Gallery , Oisterwijk 2017 Galerie Roger Katwijk , Amsterdam 2016 Gallery RosenfeldPorcini, London 2016 Rosewood Hotel, London 2015 Etienne Gallery , Oisterwijk 2014 Galerie Roger Katwijk, Amsterdam Groepstentoonstellingen en Art-Fairs (selectie) 2017 Beelden in Leiden, LUMC, Leiden 2017 Galerie Obrist Essen, Duitsland 2017 Art in Oisterwijk 2016 PAN, Amsterdam, Galerie Roger Katwijk 2016 SOLO-projekt, Basel, Zwitserland 2016 House of Barnabas, London 2015 Schweizerische Triennale der Skulptur, Bad Ragaz,& Vaduz, Zwitserland en Liechtenstein 2015 Gouverneurshuis, Heusden 2015 Symposion, Gorinchem 2014 MOOOV, Villa Zebra, Rotterdam 2013 Kunstruimte KuuB, Utrecht 2013 Schlosspark Köln-Stammheim , Duitsland 2013 Skulpturenpark Gűnzburg, Duitsland 2012 Kunst am Strand, Sylt, Rantum, Duitsland 2012 Oisterwijk Sculptuur Beelden in de Openbare Ruimte in oa.a. 2017 Westfriesgasthuis, Hoorn 2016 Soho park gardens, London, Engeland) 2016 Gemeente Bergen op Zoom 2016 Bad Ragaz, Zwitserland 2013 Woonwenz Venlo 2011 Gemeente Spijkenisse