Anton Reijnders: Descartes’ Error III is on view at FRACAS, Brussels
September 3 – October 4, 2020
FRACAS is very pleased to collaborate for a second time with Atelier Jespers, run by Jean-François Declercq.
FRACAS is an object-oriented gallery, mixing art, crafts and design. Wishing to highlight the link between art and function, the gallery present emerging international artists. After having established for several years in the centre of Brussels, the gallery has become nomadic since December 2019.
Atelier Jespers is based in Oscar Jespers’ modernist house and workshop, built in 1928 by the great architect Victor Bourgeois. The desired ambiguity between a workshop and a house stimulates crea-tivity and gives the events that take place there a moment of intimacy in a semi-public setting.
More than 30 years of creation are represented through the exhibition with pieces dating from 1989 to the present day.
Anton Reijnders wants to offer opportunities for concentration and attention and as such providing an alternative to the visual language that is increasingly is subservient to propaganda and quick ef-fects. He hopes his works evokes awareness of the automatism in which meaning is attributed and the conditioned way of perceiving. He does not want to impose a way of interpreting his work: his sculptures are a free meditative opportunity for reflection and concentration.
Throughout his career, Anton has built a very personal alphabet of shapes and symbols. His ever re-newed way of playing and assembling these representations creates a process that explores the struc-ture and patterns of mental constructions. The making itself echoes this idea where repetitive forms made from moulds can be associated with hand-sculpted clay directly embodying a human pres-ence. The juxtaposition of thing that diverge sometimes triggers disarray or attraction. The soft with the hard, the rough and the smooth, the empty and the full question our perception and help to give it meaning.
His works are sometimes referred to as sculptural kōans. A poetic sensibility where the space left between objects is as important as the objects themselves can connect his work to oriental aesthetics. Anton refers to a Japanese painter called Sesshu as an important source of his inspiration. In these ‘Haboku Landscape’, most of the paper is left blank and a few black ink strokes reveal a vast space and show an intense focus on the essence of landscape.
Anton Reijnders was born in the Netherlands in 1955 and has been active as a sculptor for more than 38 years. Besides participating in exhibitions throughout the world Anton Reijnders has contributed to conferences, symposia and workshops in Korea, China, Australia, USA and Europe. His works of art have been selected to be part of public collections at the World Ceramic Center Icheon (KR) and the Australian National University Canberra (AU), among others. Anton has been visiting professor at the New York College of Ceramics at Alfred University and he contributed to the creation of the European Ceramic Work Center (EKWC) in ’s-Hertogenbosch (NL). Anton Reijnders currently teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
Reijnders refers to Descartes in the title of his installation for a specific reason. René. With his statement Cogito ergo sum (I think, therefore I am) Descartes emphasized a dualistic approach: mind and body, rationality and emotions are separated entities. He also was a mathematician and his analytic geometry is considered to be the foundation of modern mathematics. He introduced the now commonly-known Cartesian coordinate system based on “x” and “y” axes, which was expand-ed in the 19th century with the “z” coordinate to obtain a three-dimensional system. Reijnders’ in-stallation references these principles but also questions the short-sighted notion that everything can be explained through abstraction. In the book, Descartes’s Error, the contemporary brain scientist Antonio Damasio challenges the dualistic Cartesian approach by stating that emotions, perception and reasoning are fully interrelated. Reijnders’ objects placed within a Cartesian framework are do-ing the same thing. They are positioned on different levels, placed on the floor, on the construction, and stacked on top of each other. It is not a puzzle that asks to be solved. Reijnders provides space for the viewer to look and see. An invitation to first experience, to observe, to feel and to become aware, and only then, to interpret. Approaching it in this way will leave room for the choice of act-ing or not acting.
Quote from the text – Beyond the Story, An Encounter with Anton Reijnders of Lotte van Geijn.
A special project will be presented in the upper part of the exhibition space: ‘Anton’s Offshoots’*, a presentation of emerging contemporary ceramists curated by Anton Reijnders especially for the occasion.
*With works by: Buket Kıınalıkaya (TR), Clémentine Dupré (FR), Elena Gileva (RU), Elisa Uberti (FR), Laurin Schaub (CH), Lisa Allegra (ES), Mathieu Frossard (FR), Nitsa Meletopoulos (FR), Sarah Pschorn (DE).
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