Golser’s latest exhibition at Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery showcases a tightly sculpted juxtaposition between fragility and structural durability – a combination that leaves you questioning whether these sculptures were crafted by the artist or Mother Nature herself.
As one enters the unassuming Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery on London’s Rathbone Street, the space’s white-washed walls cite Michelangelo in describing the exhibition: “the figure already existed inside the slab of marble”. Indeed, Herbert Golser’s sculptures, which reveal waves, sweeping strokes and pointillist landscapes from within masses of wood, embody Michelangelo’s view in this regard.
Golser hails from Austria with lengthy experience in sculpting, particularly with wood as his medium, graduating from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna and the Technical School for Wood and Stone Sculpture. A great deal of tradition and time is felt from behind the works displayed in this particular exhibition; one cannot help but imagine the painstaking patience required to forge such detailed and fragile works.
Fragility feels important in this collection. At times as you wander between these monuments you dare not breathe at risk of disturbing the resting flakes and strands of wood sculpted by Golser. This grants the space an inherent stillness and calm that underpins the pieces displayed. A tight relationship between the sculptures and the space grants Golser’s work further dimension; shadows cast by towers of wood protruding from the walls and between the floorboards cast warped geometries, wall-mounted lattices reveal white from the walls in the grates of wood toying with the eye, rows and columns of miniature blocks laying perpendicular to the wall shift the sense of perspective as you pass a piece enabling a sense of movement. What originally seem like still natural creations, upon closer inspection, contain great amounts of life and vitality.
Each sculpted piece conforms to a series of repeated patterns which applies a mathematical quality to the works and yet the pieces which contribute to an individual work retain a sense of individuality – much akin to mathematics found in nature. This parallel exists to the extent where at times the viewer begins to question whether an artist exists at all: perhaps through a series of natural erosive processes these artefacts themselves in a gallery.
Herbert Golser’s exhibition, A Quivering Solidity, is open at Rosenfeld Porcini Gallery until 11th July 2015.