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John Van Oers

POR LA NOCHEin collaboration with Rossicontemporary

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Chance as strategy.
Someone once described the term ‘serendipity’ as looking for a pin in a haystack and coming out with the farmer's daughter.
In a similar fashion and with a dash of intelligent humour, John Van Oers sets out to find the surprise in the process, the pearl in the shell, the unexpected yet marvelous twist in the story. 

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John Van Oers
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John Van Oers
John Van Oers
John Van Oers
John Van Oers
John Van Oers
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The anecdotal method is viewed sceptically in both art and science, because it leads to fallacies and easy generalizations. Single isolated evidence is at odds with the scientific method, which examines its subjects broadly; it is not because your bird is a parakeet that all birds are parakeets. In art, the anecdotal stands for navel-gazing, for the glorification of one's personal experience. It is the opposite of universality or the possibility of making abstraction of things, which allows one thing to mean another or makes the pure form sufficient to transcend the primary. Poetry, music and abstract art appeal to our deeply rooted and eroded emotions that no longer refer to specific, but to general feelings. It is the language that we feel but do not understand.

No other artists uses the anecdotal method more than John van Oers. Autobiographical events small and large are a recurrent cause for visual processing in his work. Drawn diary excerpts become a storyboard for sculptures that seem unpretentious and light as a feather. But what we see are not narrative stories or family chronicles; the motivations behind these works are cryptically hidden in extremely reduced forms that are executed in pure materials such as wood, metal, plaster or bronze. John Van Oers does not narrate, he suggests. Herein lies the magical transition from the strictly anecdotal to forms that we all feel but do not understand.

Bert Danckaert, 2019
curated by
featured artists

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