On the occasion of Frieze Masters London 2016, The Mayor Gallery is presenting a solo exhibition of
the geometric reliefs of Ad Dekkers (b. 1938 – d. 1974 The Netherlands).
Ad Dekkers is generally considered to be part of the second wave of geometric abstraction, along with
other Dutch artists such as Joost Baljeu and Jan Schoonhoven. In response to CoBrA and the abstract
expressionists these artists fell back on the work of Mondrian and De Stijl in parallel to international
Minimalism such as LeWitt, Andre, Kelly and Judd.
Working primarily with the issues relating to the function and the nature of the line, Dekkers began to
make reliefs in 1961, built out of layers of flat geometric shapes and with asymmetrical compositions.
Using a saw to produce grooves on layers of wooden panels and by keeping the width of the groove to
a minimum and by adjusting the depth to the thickness of the panel, the grooves in the surface began
to act like lines. It was important that these grooves not only act three-dimensionally, but that they
were also tangibly three-dimensional.
Later the reliefs comprised of one single wooden panel in which grooves have been made using a
circular saw. He abandoned the use of colour and began to work entirely in white. From about 1965
his reliefs became more systematic and linear, constructed out of fewer planes or with lines cut into a
flat surface; they were often based on the transformation of one regular geometric shape into
another, such as a square into a circle. Highly polished and seemingly effortless, they works are cast in
matte white Polyester so that no trace of the artist’s hand survives and the work becomes a perfect
and objective object.
Ad Dekkers has shown at major international exhibitions, such as the Biennale de Paris in 1965, São
Paulo Art Biennial in 1967 and documenta in Kassel in 1968. He also had a number of solo exhibitions
in The Netherlands.