Carel Visser (1928)
Carel Visser can rightly be considered the grandfather of post-war sculpture in the Netherlands.* His oeuvre spans nearly sixty years and traces the fundamental changes within the field of sculpting. In stark contrast to the whirlwind revolution in painting in the Netherlands of the early nineteen fifties, the art of sculpting has changed very slowly. From the beginning of his career, Visser has been drawn to abstraction. He prefers welded iron sculptures to classical materials such as wax, plaster or stone, and geometry and symmetry to classical realism. Visser takes an adventurous look at the balance between vertical and horizontal, between part and whole and between nature and construction.
Car windscreens, goose feet, graphite, advertisement photos, sheep's wool, rusting steel – all have been used in Carel Visser sculptures. He stacks, welds, glues, installs, ties and positions the things that cross his path, with his sharp eye for shape, relationship and dynamics. The horizontal plane, the ground, becomes an important element in Visser's work: it supports the sculptures and determines the angle at which we see them. Paper is another important element for Visser; he began his artistic career with drawings, and since the nineteen eighties he has also exhibited collages. Over the years, Visser has developed an enormous freedom in bringing together an amazing diversity of materials within a single work.
* J. Bremer, ‘Een beeld mag vooral niet te veel zijn’, unlocked # 02 rabo kunstcollectie, Eindhoven 2005, p. 284