Lechbinska Gallery is excited to present the first Swiss solo show of a Belgian artist, Johan Gelper.
Johan Gelper specializes in large-scale, site-specific and mixed-media sculptures, often making use of recycled materials. He works with found both natural and manufactured materials. He adjusts them and creates new visual and tactile experiences, often introducing a playful element in his work. One needs to walk around the “spatial drawing” in order to attain a more complete experience of the sculptures. The works are in fact sculptural events that are activated by the viewer's real-time multi-sensory perception. Johan gets his inspiration from the early Russian constructivists, whose sculptures like the ones by Vladimir Tatlin, had revolutionary for their time materiality and a unique relationship to the environment around them.
Behind Johan’s work, there’s a lot of research and experimentation. Geotropism is one of the notions that Johan borrows from botanics: geotropism is the response of plants to gravity. Johan comments: “Cells at the tips of the plant measure what's up and down. The stems have a negative form of geotropism: they grow against gravity. I chose it because I somehow find a similarity between the language of sculpture and the language of botany. In sculpture, we also often speak of positive and negative space, gravity, and balance.“ Next to exploring different mediums and techniques, Johan juxtaposes the geometrical and organic forms.
Next to demountable spatial drawings we present a selection of Johan Gelper’s 2D drawings. Their composition is often the result of an intuitive merging of botanical drawings, technical designs, and abstract elements, which together form a new whole that hovers between figuration and abstraction. In this way, they’re somewhere between an unfettered “écriture automatique” and a consciously constructed system.