Gerwald Rockenschaub ROMANTIC / ECLECTIC (REMODELLED CAROUSEL EDIT)
3 April – 23 May 2019
In his first major solo show in the UK, Berlin-based Austrian artist Gerwald Rockenschaub (b. 1952) presented his abstracted ‘geometric playgrounds’ – site-specific, multifaceted wall installations that respond to the architecture of Ely House – alongside his Intarsia and Relief series.
Rockenschaub has been strongly associated with the Neo-Geo movement that began in the early 1980s with a group of young artists who focused on the formal vocabulary of the abstract avant-garde, as well as with Minimalism, but Rockenschaub’s art cannot be categorised by a particular style. Heightening the viewer’s physical experience of the gallery space, his wall installations presented an immersive approach to examining perception. Through his visual codes of organised disorder, and interventions of space and depth, Rockenschaub playfully explored our responses and disrupts our innate desire to identify patterns in our surroundings.
His Intarsia works, made of wood and acrylic glass, were based on a decorative technique that flourished during the Italian Renaissance, when pieces of wood veneer in different colours and shapes were applied to a flat surface to form a pattern. Similarly, his Reliefs were contemporary paraphrases of a historical technique; raised acrylic glass elements were applied to MDF surfaces to produce a concise variant of the classic marble relief.