NEW YORK, NY.- David Richard Gallery announces New York-based artist, Roland Gebhardt in his debut exhibition with the gallery and solo presentation of his recent studio works. The presentation consists of 14 wall-mounted sculptures produced from 2017 through 2019 in a variety of materials, including zinc, aluminum and paper and the debut of a new installation piece comprised of 49 vertical wooden columns with slices removed in Gebhardt’s usual serial fashion that explore various permutations of cuts and orientations on different faces, each placed on the floor in an array. The new floor piece can be arranged in many different permutations to make a site-specific intervention that is unique to each space. The wood planks are also sold individually. The exhibition is on view from January 26 - February 21, 2020 at David Richard Gallery located at 211 East 121 Street, New York, New York 10035, P: 212-882-1705.
Gebhardt is known for his minimalist sculptures that he has been producing since the early 1970s. This particular presentation highlights current and new works and focuses on his ongoing exploration of space, or better yet, voids. He uses diverse materials, including paper, steel, zinc, aluminum, wood and rocks and always a minimal color palette of white, black, grey or the natural surfaces of various metal supports.
His works are organized in series to examine multiple permutations of a particular theme. As noted, in the case of the new work consisting of 49 wooden elements, each comprised of a vertical wood column with cuts and voids at various angles, spacing and repetitions. The columns are then arranged in linear arrays as floor pieces in rows at right angles to each other with wide spaces between each to facilitate the viewer’s engagement by walking in and around the installation from different angles. The different permutations between each column creates unique and different views depending upon the viewer’s position, ambient light and other visual information in the space.
The wall sculptures with their angled cuts and undulations from the various materials, resulting from them being hung from a cleat and thus giving the appearance of floating on the wall, also nod to the notion of illusory space. The subtle use of voids, the color black, slices and cutaways in the support materials at extreme angles can be interpreted as optical and illusory, reminiscent of the works by the members of the Park Place Gallery in the 1960s in lower Manhattan. Gebhardt creates an internal tension within his wall sculptures that successfully suggests the possibility of a three-dimensional structure in a two-dimensional plane. Thus, the subtle illusory effect.
The reductive and minimal aesthetic with an austere appearance and clean surfaces provides a serene and meditative calm in Gebhardt’s work. As a result, the subtle serial permutations and clean lines invokes contemplation and a subconscious desire to decode the permutations for possible patterns and clues as to the origins and/or meaning.
Roland Gebhardt was born in Paramaribo, Suriname 1939. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich and earned a Master of Fine Arts at the Art Academy of Hamburg. He is a sculptor working in a variety of media and exhibits internationally. Probably best known for his large-scale environmental sculptures that explore the concept of “linear volume” and presented at Wave Hill and Storm King, both in New York in the early 1970s. Another important body of work was his examination of “host volumes” using a range of natural materials, including boulders, fruit and vegetables in a critically acclaimed series of eight single day presentations in 1982 at the Kunstmuseum, Duesseldorf.
Moving into a more conceptual realm, Gebhardt explored the complex subject of individual and group identity by leveraging sculpture and creating a series of masks to produce, “The Only Tribe”, a multi-media performance work at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York City in December of 2008. The theme of identity was further explored by incorporating dance with sculptural masks in 2013 at Storm King Art Center and on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. "Trophies", a further iteration incorporating music explored identity and the transformation from a living being to a hunter’s trophy.
Gebhardt’s works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums and public collections, including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY; Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, NY; Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Kunstsammlung of the City of Ludwigshafen, Germany; Wave Hill, Center for Environmental Studies, Bronx, NY; among others as well as many corporate and private collections.