Cup of Tea 2007 wood 8 x 18 x 15cm
Swiss Army Knife 2007 wood 18 x 4.5 x 35cm

 

PRESS RELEASE

WOOD
4 Dec 2007 – 26 Jan 2008 


An exhibition of sculptures by Adrian Köhler
Upstairs at 34Long Fine Art
 
A cup of tea, a light bulb, a Swiss army knife, a diamond ring. These are among a selection of sculptures presented by Cape Town artist Adrian Köhler for his solo exhibition at 34Long. 
 
The objects, finely crafted in different kinds of wood, assume a strange hyper-materiality; a physical presence sharpened by their stubborn silence, their deadpan polished wooden patina. They appear to be straightforward replicas of the real thing; yet they are not, they are slightly altered, and in this subdued deception they reveal layers of metaphoric meaning. They call into question not themselves, but the objects they represent. For example the beautifully observed, meticulously constructed, somewhat larger than life pocket knife brings to mind some kind of notion of masculinity; the teacup, perhaps, its opposite. 
 
Adrian, previously a model maker for film and advertising (the industries of fakery and deception), now works at his art full-time.
 
He acknowledges that his sculpture places him in the blurred artisan/artist borderland, but is comfortable and confident with this dichotomy. He underlines his commitment to the technical mastery required to physically make objects exactly as he imagines them as opposed to (merely) conceptualising them as artworks. As sources of inspiration he names Robert Gobert's painstaking woodblock print of a till slip, and Damien Hirst's diamond-encrusted skull reminding us all of death, the ultimate unthinkable. 
 
His chosen material, wood, has a presence which Adrian believes to be loaded with subversive symbolic power. Something wooden is frustrated, he says. The opposite of playful, one step away from being petrified, fossilised. Wood is omnipresent, physically and metaphorically: it is the material of model aeroplanes, of hobbyists and garage handymen; of roadside curios, priceless antiques and great artists! 
 
Adrian Köhler is one of the most promising young sculptors working in Cape Town right now. His work is sure to capture the imagination of local collectors, so don’t miss the opening! 
All images © Adrian Köhler, 2007
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34 Long Street    Cape Town    South Africa 
For more information contact Andries Loots:   tel. +27 82 354 1500    fineart@34long.com

Gallery hours Tuesday - Friday 9h00-17h00 Saturday 10h-14h00
or by appointment tel. +27 21 426 4594