The space in which Anton Cotteleer and Hadassah Emmerich meet resembles a contemporary erotic cabinet. After all, Cotteleer’s sculptures and Emmerich’s two-dimensional works have common roots: a fascination for physicality and for images that are slightly destabilising. Both artists use fragments of bodies, which they rid of literality by artistically transforming them. Echoes of pop art resound, especially in the use of bright colours or banal elements drawn from our everyday surroundings. Boundaries are explored – Emmerich challenges the two dimensions and scale of the classical painting by designing spatial installations and creating monumental works, while Cotteleer manipulates the skin of his sculptures as if they were canvas. In so doing, they blur categories and merge disciplines into one another.
Another overlap is their sensitivity to the tragicomic and the artificial. Cotteleer works with forms and materials from endearingly kitschy interiors that are permeated with the physical scent of the everyday. When you look at Emmerich’s work, you will recognize motifs and forms from our broad visual culture of photographs, billboards, emoticons, films, graffiti and other media. She assembles these into new and enigmatic objects that evoke a distinctly urban context. While their colours and textures have been borrowed from popular media, the typically monumental format relates to urban space. Cotteleer’s sculptures are often given plinths that refer just as much to an altar as to the carpets in grandma’s cosy sitting room. No bronze or marble, but an apparently temporary skin of faded nylon fibres and dusty plush, the colours of which enter into a dialogue with Emmerich’s work.