Gerard Koek ‘WORDS & RECOLLECTIONS’ (solo exhibition)
From 29 April to 10 June 2017
On the top of an apartment building in Nijmegen, ‘to B, to B-i, to B-ex’ is written in alternating neon letters, fascinating and amazing, and recognizable to most people as the name of the soap brand, Biotex. This ‘Shakespearean’ rearrangement of the original letters of the advertisement into an existential message is the work of Gerard Koek (b. 1954), for whom the awareness that images and words are inseparably connected with each other forms the basis of his oeuvre.
At Galerie Bart, there is a lot of (new) text-based work to see. Under the umbrella title Words, this is work that presents itself as a statement, invocation, expression of doubt, viewpoint, observation or stammering moment. These works made out of wood reflect the wilfulness that is always palpable when both looking and reading are required. What is it that immediately brings images to mind when we read words, whereas on the other hand. words seem to come to us when we look at images? All of these works are about the act of formulating. On all fronts, fixation into a thing of permanence seems to be postponed until a later moment.
The invocative power that images can exert is investigated in the series Dazzle Dialectics. Inspired by ‘dazzle painting’, a military tactic in which designs are painted in perspective on the hull of a battleship in order to confuse enemy ships about the distance between them, the images here serve as disguise. Words and images meet each other in conflicting movements of indication and concealment, thus also manifesting their mutual dependence.
A new series, Recollections, broadens the linguistic environment through associations with remembering and collecting. These ‘wooden drawings’ start with the apparent decisiveness of explanatory schemes and diagrams. They are filled in with echoes of materiality and fragmentation, challenging the viewer to interpret a continual, dynamic rearrangement of the positions that have been taken, a characteristic feature of Koek’s work.
Gerard Koek has built up a considerable record, exhibiting his work on a regular basis. Recently, his work was part of the Gelderland Biennale, and last year his room-filling installation PROP was shown in the Valkhof Museum in Nijmegen.
For more information and visual material, please contact Fleur Poots at Galerie Bart, 020-320 62 08, [email protected] www.galeriebart.nl (If you use any of the visuals, you are obliged to mention the names of the gallery and artist.)