Riki Mijling [NL] · * 1954 in Nijmegen. Lives and works in Amsterdam and Odemira [PT]

Picture gallery oneΛ top
Wall Works

  • Resonance Shape-D, 2008. Waxed steel 30 x 15 x 7,5 cm Resonance Shape-D, 2008. Waxed steel 30 x 15 x 7,5 cm
  • Resonance Shape-Q, 2010. waxed steel 13 x 7,6 x 13 cm Resonance Shape-Q, 2010. waxed steel 13 x 7,6 x 13 cm
  • Void II, 2014. Steel with rust patina, 32,8 x 31 x 3,6 cm Void II, 2014. Steel with rust patina, 32,8 x 31 x 3,6 cm
  • Void V, 2015. Steel with rust patina, 53,3 x 32, 2 x 4,5 cm Void V, 2015. Steel with rust patina, 53,3 x 32, 2 x 4,5 cm
  • Void I, 2014. Steel with rust patina, 32,8 x 30 x 23, 2 cm Void I, 2014. Steel with rust patina, 32,8 x 30 x 23, 2 cm
  • Void I, 2014. Steel with rust patina, 32,8 x 30 x 23, 2 cm Void I, 2014. Steel with rust patina, 32,8 x 30 x 23, 2 cm
  • Void IV, 2015. Steel with rust patina, 53,3 x 25 x 6,7 cm Void IV, 2015. Steel with rust patina, 53,3 x 25 x 6,7 cm
  • Two is One One is Two III, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 104 x 78 cm Two is One One is Two III, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 104 x 78 cm
  • Two is One One is Two VII, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 109 x 29 x 3 cm Two is One One is Two VII, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 109 x 29 x 3 cm
  • Two is One One is Two I, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 143 x 65 cm Two is One One is Two I, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 143 x 65 cm
  • Two is One One is Two IV, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 169 x 39 cm Two is One One is Two IV, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 169 x 39 cm
  • Two is One One is Two II, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 104 x 91 cm Two is One One is Two II, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 104 x 91 cm
  • Two is One One is Two III, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 104 x 78 cm Two is One One is Two III, 2010/15. Steel with rust patina, 104 x 78 cm
  • Resonance shape 2006. Steel with rust patina, 226 x 33 x 0,5 cm Resonance shape 2006. Steel with rust patina, 226 x 33 x 0,5 cm
  • One is two two is one I, 2009. Steel with rust patina, 132,8 x 53 cm One is two two is one I, 2009. Steel with rust patina, 132,8 x 53 cm
  • Resonance Shape-P, 2010. waxed steel 16,8 x 23,4 x 6,9 cm Resonance Shape-P, 2010. waxed steel 16,8 x 23,4 x 6,9 cm
  • Resonance Shape-G, 2009. waxed steel 24,7 x 31 x 9,4 cm Resonance Shape-G, 2009. waxed steel 24,7 x 31 x 9,4 cm
  • Resonance Shape 2D-6, 2008. waxed steel 26 x 78 x 0,6 cm Resonance Shape 2D-6, 2008. waxed steel 26 x 78 x 0,6 cm
  • Resonance Shape 2D-5, 2008. waxed steel 39 x 52 x 0,6 cm Resonance Shape 2D-5, 2008. waxed steel 39 x 52 x 0,6 cm
  • Resonance Shape 2D-2, 2008. waxed steel 26 x 52 x 0,6 cm Resonance Shape 2D-2, 2008. waxed steel 26 x 52 x 0,6 cm
     

Photo credits: 1 dr. julius | ap · 2 - 4, 9, 14, 16, 17 Loek Kemming · 5 - 8, 10 - 13 Iemke Ruige · 18 - 20 Franz Immoos

Picture gallery twoΛ top
Sculptures and Installation views

  • Riki Mijling with dr. julius | ap at the-solo-project, Basel 2014 Riki Mijling with dr. julius | ap at the-solo-project, Basel 2014
  • Riki Mijling at Artis engineering, Berlin-Tempelhof: TECH.ART.INTERSECT. Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, three volumes, 54 x 108 x 189 cm Riki Mijling at Artis engineering, Berlin-Tempelhof: TECH.ART.INTERSECT. Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, three volumes, 54 x 108 x 189 cm
  • Riki Mijling at Artis engineering, Berlin-Tempelhof: TECH.ART.INTERSECT. Three Elements, 2014. Riki Mijling at Artis engineering, Berlin-Tempelhof: TECH.ART.INTERSECT. Three Elements, 2014.
  • Riki Mijling - Minimal Means. Solo exhibition at dr. julius | ap, June 2012 Riki Mijling - Minimal Means. Solo exhibition at dr. julius | ap, June 2012
  • Riki Mijling at Neue Konkrete + Architektur. Group exhibition at dr. julius | ap, 2010 Riki Mijling at Neue Konkrete + Architektur. Group exhibition at dr. julius | ap, 2010
  • Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, three volumes, 54 x 108 x 189 cm Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, three volumes, 54 x 108 x 189 cm
  • Two Elements, 2014. Corten steel 162 x 54 x 36 cm Two Elements, 2014. Corten steel 162 x 54 x 36 cm
  • Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, three volumes, 54 x 108 x 189 cm Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, three volumes, 54 x 108 x 189 cm
  • Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 252 x 54 x 54 cm Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 252 x 54 x 54 cm
  • Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 162 x 108 x 36 cm Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 162 x 108 x 36 cm
  • Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 108 x 108 x 54 cm Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 108 x 108 x 54 cm
  • Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel 108 x 108 x 54 cm Three Elements, 2014. Corten steel, 108 x 108 x 54 cm
  • Resonance Shape II 2007.30 x 90 x 30 cm Resonance Shape-II, 2007. Waxed steel, 30 x 90 x 30 cm
  • Resonance Shape-I 2007. waxed steel 30 x 90 x 30 cm Resonance Shape-I 2007. Waxed steel, 30 x 90 x 30 cm
  • Resonace Shape-P, 2010. waxed steel 16,8 x 23,4 x 6,9 cm Resonace Shape-P, 2010. Waxed steel, 16,8 x 23,4 x 6,9 cm
  • Four Pieces multiple 2008.solid steel edition of 30, 15 x 13,5 x 10,5 cm Four Pieces multiple 2008. solid steel, edition of 30, 15 x 13,5 x 10,5 cm
  • Four Pieces III 2009. Corten Steel two volumes 72 x 216 x 72 cm Four Pieces III 2009. Corten Steel, two volumes, 72 x 216 x 72 cm
  • The Wind SNO 2013. Steel and paper, project for a garden sculpture The Wind SNO 2013. Steel and paper, project for a garden sculpture
     

Photo credits: 1 - 6 dr. julius | ap · 7 - 13  Iemke Ruige · 8 - 18 Loek Kemming

 

Exhibition list. Solo and group exhibitions.Λ top

The majority in the Netherlands except where marked specifically in brackets

2015
dr. julius | ap [duo: Douglas Allsop] Berlin [DE]
Kunsthal Boschveld, Uit Noodzaak ‘S-Hertogenbosch
Reduction.NL, Galerie Výtvarného Umění Ostrava [CZ]
Reduction.NL, Tatra Gallery Proprad [SL]
Reduction.NL, Umelka gallery Bratislava [SL]
Museum Waterland, Klein Beeld 2 Purmerend
Museum Waterland, Formeel 2015 – Waterverven Purmerend
Galerie Floss und Schultz, Skulpturen im Privaten Raum Köln [DE]
Galerie Floss und Schultz, so eine art loft [solo] Köln [DE]
ART_FAIR Cologne, Galerie Floss & Schultz Köln [DE]
POSITIONS BERLIN Art Fair, dr. julius | ap Berlin [DE]
Sydney Non Objective - auction show Sydney [AU]
Kunst-Rai: Galerie Dom’Arte Amsterdam
Galerie Franzis Engels Amsterdam
2014
48th Art Cologne, Galerie Rieder Köln [DE]
Concreet NU Zoetermeer
dr. julius | ap: the-solo-project [duo: Siegfried Kreitner] Basel [CH]
Flux Galerie [duo: Andrew Leslie] Budapest [HU]
dr. julius | ap: Private View. By Appointment. Berlin [DE]
Formeel 2014, Waterland Museum Purmerend
Raw Art Fair: galerie Dom’Arte Rotterdam
2013
Polarity SNO 92, Gallery 1 [duo: Arpad Forgo] Sydney [AU]
MAP, Art projects Blue Mountains [AU]
47th Art-Cologne, Galerie Rieder Köln [DE]
Hydrography II, De Vishal Haarlem
Galerie Rieder, Form Farbe Raum [duo: Rüdiger Lange] München [DE]
Galerie Conny van Kasteel EXPO 52 Egmond aan Zee
Kunst-Rai: Galerie Dom’Arte Amsterdam
Pan-Amsterdam; Galerie Dom’Arte Amsterdam
Galerie Z, Thuissalon Nijmegen
Raw Art Fair: galerie Dom’Arte Rotterdam
Sydney Non Objective Turns 100 Sidney [AU]
2012
dr. julius | ap: Minimal Means [solo] Berlin [DE]

Kunstlokaal Nø 8 [duo: Marian Bijlinga] Jubbega
2Close 11 [GBK] [duo: Guido Nieuwendijk] Tiel
dr. julius | ap: FutureShock OneTwo Berlin [DE]
KunstRai: galerie Dom’Arte Amsterdam
Raw Art Fair: galerie Dom’Arte Rotterdam
Kasteel Le Paige Herenstals [BE]
2011
Centro de Arte Moderna e Cultura [solo] Ponte de Sor [PT]
Studio van Dusseldorp [duo: Cathalijn Wouters] Tilburg
Villa Maarheeze Wassenaar
De Meers ‘Genoeg’ NKvB-expositie Hoofddorp
Galerie Artipoli ‘in Abstractie’ Noorden
Zorgvlied NKvB-expositie Amstelveen
dr. julius | ap, Neue Konkrete + Architektur Berlin [DE]
2010
44th Art-Cologne, Galerie Rieder Köln [DE]
Galerie Rieder, [solo] München [DE]
dr. julius | ap: Reduction [solo] Berlin [DE]
Art Amsterdam, galerie Artipoli Amsterdam
Galerie 15A Lochem
Kunstroute IJhorst
Galerie Dom’Arte [duo: Jac Bisschops] Rucphen
Galerie Artipoli, [solo] Noorden
2009
Art-Amsterdam, galerie Nine [solo] Amsterdam
Project 2.0 [duo: Robbert Fortgens] Den Haag
Galerie Artipoli, presentatie; Resonance [solo] Noorden
100 jaar Abstractie’ galerie Artipoli Noorden
Galerie 15A Lochem
10 jaar galerie Conny van Kasteel Egmond aan Zee
IB Isabel Bilbao Gallerie, [duo: Robbert Fortgens] Berlin [DE]
Kunst 10-daagse Bergen Bergen Binnen
AAF kunstbeurs, Galerie Artipoli Amsterdam
Geldmuseum, Actuele nederlandse Penningkunst Utrecht
2008
Galerie Nine [solo] Amsterdam
Galerie Artipoli, [duo: Geeske Blijker] Noorden
Galerie Dom’Arte [duo] Rucphen
SJ. galerie Leeuwarden
Kunst 10-daagse Bergen, Bergen Binnen
Galerie 15A Lochum
2007
Art-Amsterdam, galerie Dom’Arte [solo] Amsterdam
Galerie Dom’Arte Rucphen
Art-Karlsruhe, Galerie Rieder Karlsruhe [DE]
14 Staties, Galerie Parade Amsterdam
Cologne Fine-Art, galerie Octagon Amsterdam
Fidem XXX, International Federation of Medallic Art Colorado Springs [USA]
Galerie 15 A Lochum
Skulpturen Garten Sürth Köln [DE]
Tso-Ar centrum Leidschendam Kruithuis Den Bosch
2006
Art-Amsterdam ‘06, Galerie Nine Amsterdam
‘Werken op papier en Uitzonderingen‘ Amsterdam
Ver. voor Penning Kunst, Museum Beelden aan Zee Scheveningen
Geometrisch Concreet X, Mondriaanhuis, museum voor Concrete kunst, Amersfoort
Galerie Dom‘Arte, ‘Kunst en Religie‘ Rucphen
Cologne Fine Art, Octagon galerie Köln [DE]
‘37 kunstenaars gaan om een tafel zitten‘ ArtoNivo Brugge [BE]
‘Verbeelding aan Zee‘ Bergen aan Zee
Galerie 15 A Lochem
Künstlerforum Bonn, Niederländische Konkrete Kunst Bonn [DE]
Galerie Rieder München [DE]
2005
Galerie Nine, Art Twente Hengelo
Anningahof Zwolle
Galerie Dom‘Arte Rucphen
Skulpturengarten Sürth Köln [DE]
Art Frankfurt Octagon galerie Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst Köln Octagon galerie Köln [DE]
Vogeleiland, St. Kunst in de Singel Deventer
ArtBox, multiple galerie Frankfurt [DE]
ArtBox, Art-Fair Cologne Köln [DE]
Geometrisch Konkret X, Galerie Kunen Dülmen [DE]
2004 Galerie Conny van Kasteel, Egmond aan Zee
Art Frankfurt Octagon galerie Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst Kîln 2004, Octagon galerie Köln [DE]
Galerie Dom‘Arte Rucphen
Holland Artfair: Marie-Colette van Spaendonck Den Haag
Beeldentuin gallery Interart.nl Heeswijk
Kunstverein Koblenz „Made in Holland“ Koblenz [DE]
Golfclub Olympus, Stichting Beeld en Golf Amsterdam
2003
Galerie Conny van Kasteel Egmond aan Zee
Galerie Dom‘Arte Rucphen
St. Joseph galerie Leeuwarden
Kasteel-museum Sypensteyn: „Voor Mij“ Loosdrecht
Galerie Phoebus, ladenkastproject Rotterdam
Art Frankfurt Octagon galerie Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst Kîln 2003, Octagon galerie Köln [DE]
Beeldentuin Cuijk Cuijk
2002
Galerie Phoebus, ladenkastproject Rotterdam
Our hous is a very, very fine house Amsterdam
Galerie Conny van Kasteel Egmond aan Zee
Museum voor Constructieve en Concrete kunst, Mondriaanhuis, Amersfoort
Art Frankfurt Octagon galerie Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst-RAI ‘02 Octagon galerie Amsterdam
Kunstcentrum Zaanstad, Zaanstad
Galerie Nikhé, zomer tentoonstelling Tilburg
7e Biennale Kleinplastik Hilden, Hilden [DE]
Beeldentuin Cuijk, Cuijk
2001
Kunstgenootschap ‘t Reghthuys Nieuwkoop
Galerie Michael Schlieper Hagen [DE]
Channel Galleries Neuss [DE]
Galerie Conny van Kasteel Egmond aan Zee
Art Frankfurt Octagon galerie Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst-RAI ‘01 Octagon galerie Amsterdam
De Parade, Amsterdam
Les Jardin Artistiques de Drulon Drulon [FR]
Ned. Kring van Beeldhouwers ‘De Watertoren‘ Aalsmeer
2000
Art Frankfurt „Multiple District“ Frankfurt [DE]
Gilla Galerie Neuss [DE]
Achter de Zuilen Bloemendaal
6e Biennale Kleinplastiek Wilhelm-Fabry-Museum Hilden [DE]
Kunst Rai ‘00 Octagon galerie Amsterdam
Nikhé galerie voor beeldhouwkunst Tilburg
‘Die Hollandische Welle’ Städtische Museen Jena Jena [DE]
Galerie Conny van Kasteel Egmond aan Zee
1999
Art Frankfurt „Multiple District“ Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst Rai‘99; galerie Steiger 8 Amsterdam
SBK-Bickerseiland „Buiten - Beelden - Binnen“ Amsterdam
1998
Hollandia gebouw -Artotheek Vlaardingen
Art Frankfurt‘98 „Multiple District“ Frankfurt [DE]
Kunst Rai 98; galerie Steiger 8 Multiples Amsterdam
Art Multiple ‘98 „Die Hollandische Welle“ Düsseldorf [DE]
Galerie edition Lutz Fiebig Berlin [DE]
SBK - K.N.S.M.eiland „This side up“ Amsterdam
1997
„SAFE-Depot“, Nova Zembla Den Bosch
Kunst Rai ‘97; galerie Steiger 8 Amsterdam
De Vest : „Transportkisten projekt.“ Alkmaar
Art Multiple ‘98; galerie Steiger 8 Düsseldorf [DE]
Incontri ‘97; Globel Stone Bohuslän [Zweden]
1996
„SAFE-Depot“: K.I.SAFE Dalfsen
„SAFE-Depot“: Aa-kerk Groningen
1995
„Slot in beeld“: Slot Zeist, Zeist
Biânnale Oda park: „Illusies ‘95“ Venray
Art Multiple ‘95; Schumacher-edition Fils Düsseldorf [DE]
„Souveniers“ VER.I.O Maastricht
Art Kitchen: „Transportkisten projekt.“ Amsterdam
Galerie Zonder Titel: „Resonance of Calm“ Amsterdam
Galerie Outline: „Resonance of Calm“ Amsterdam
1994
kunsttoepassing: van Dijckschool Bilthoven
Amsterdams Beeldhouwers Kollektief Amsterdam
Galerie Ateliers Driebergen: „Sacred Places“ Driebergen
Steiger 8: „Virtual images for real money III“ Amsterdam
1993
Stedelijk Museum [nieuwe vleugel]; Amsterdam
Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis; Amsterdam
Biânnale Oda park; „Geheimen ‘93“; Venray
Open ateliers Oostelijke eilanden; Amsterdam
Overzichtsexpositie Oosterkerk Amsterdam
1992
Nine Dutch Artists in Egypt: Zamalek Art Centre; Cairo [EG]
Stedelijk Museum [nieuwe vleugel]; Amsterdam
Museum Fodor: „One hour Art“; Amsterdam
Museum Fodor: „Kunst bezet Fodor“; Amsterdam
1991
Galerie De Fontein; Lelystad
Stedelijk Museum [nieuwe vleugel]; Amsterdam
Biânnale Oda park: „Beeldige Kleding“; Venray
1990
Galerie Langenberg; Amsterdam
Stedelijk Museum [nieuwe vleugel]; Amsterdam
kunstmanifestatie: „Kunst in Containers“; Amsterdam
Amsterdams Medisch Centrum; Amsterdam
Galerie 27 :“Erotiek in Wassenaar“; Wassenaar
Atelier route S.V.B.K.:“Beeldhouwsters“; Amsterdam


Texts: Antoon Melissen | Brian Mahoney

Antoon Melissen - Looking without analysing


‘Looking without analysing' Riki Mijling calls it; her sculptures made of corten steel and metal – recently in combination with glass – trigger to observe without necessarily feeling the urge to interpret or explain.
Riki Mijling’s approach: she wants an ‘open view’, an observer who not only looks but one who also sees. For Mijling the object in itself is the ‘message’, the bearer of a meaning expressed in form, volume, but also in emptiness and in relationship to the surrounding space.Mijling’s work grows through melding Mind and Matter, her love for raw materials and the spiritual charging of the object. The attraction of her work is hidden in this paradox, in this personally loaded vacuum, or, as Mijling calls it, ‘showing the emptiness’.For years Mijling has aspired to leave out that which won’t be missed, to reduce and do away with decoration without a function. It is precisely why the addition of an extra material within one and the same piece is not self explanatory. And yet she achieves with the additioin of glass a higher grade of reduction while the form in essence remains. Glass is ‘the first stage past nothing’ according to Mijling, it is an enclosed flat space, but never solid, it is transparant, practically without contours and still present. It provides the art works with their airiness and emphasizes the emptiness of the space because of its transparence and reflection.
Additionally, the combination of these materials renders contrast to the art works: they play with our perception of spaciousness, especially because of the pairing of steel and the ‘non color’ of glass, of earthly volumes and the elusiveness of light and shadow.The manner in which mass and emptiness inside Mijling’s work function together is without meaning in the sense that no story is being told – and yet the emptiness in her work is a simulacrum, a semblance. Because what is ‘emptiness’? What is ‘nothing’? The secret covenant between observer and sculpture sometimes reveals the answer to these questions. In Mijling’s case not by thinking about what there is to be seen, but by experiencing the confined emptiness, of peacefulness and contemplation. One does not ‘get’ Mijling’s work, one experiences it.

Antoon Melissen in the catalogue: ‘Ver sem Analisar – Looking without Analysing. The Art of Riki Mijling’

 

Brian Mahoney - Love of materials – from Hungary to Holland

Interview with Riki Mijling and Arpad Forgo at SNO 175 Marrickville Rd, Marrickville March-April 2013

Have you seen what happens to a piece of MDF (medium density fibreboard) after 50 years? No, neither have I, because the stuff hasn’t been around that long. But I can tell you what happens to untreated chipboard over that time. It goes dry and crumbly; flakes apart when you handle it. So there’s every likelihood that time will treat MDF as harshly.The European two artists who came to Sydney Non Objective studios for a residency during March are not likely to use MDF. One, Arpad Forgo, from Budapest, Hungary, is aware the pulp-wood is usually held together with formaldehyde glue which gives off toxic gases, and the material reverts to a spongy blob when it absorbs water. So for his work showing at SNO during March-April he’s lovingly crafted balsawood frames, covered with Tasmanian Oak veneer. All that craft work, though, is hidden from sight. Each of the small shaped works are carefully painted with a glorious surface, rippling with colour like a jewel.
Likewise, Riki Mijling from Amsterdam, Netherlands, has respect for honest time-tested materials. She was the second artist in residence at SNO during March and is known for her substantial sculptures in Corten steel or smaller, beautifully finished work in wax-polished steel, often paired with glass. She has created commanding work across Europe, from a Trappist chapel, a resistance fighter memorial, to university sculpture and cruise ship murals. Her SNO show presents a wall mural that includes an intriguing curved glass object. Other work at SNO includes a signature geometric wall relief in steel and a bold, simple monoprint carrying the unmistakable 3D thinking of a sculptor.
The two artists teamed their exhibitions with established Sydney painter and art lecturer, Susan Andrews, whose recent abstract work has examined how we perceive the micro and macro worlds not seen with the naked eye; fluid spaces reminiscent of cells, clusters, galaxies.The show is the 92nd in SNO’s eight years and part of the centre’s focus on redefining established traditions of abstract art – reducing art to its essential elements of colour and form to create new objects of inherent integrity and beauty. It is part of a wider interest in non objective art, demonstrated with an exhibition at Australia Council, Sydney in January of some 23 core artists of the more than 350 who have been part of SNO since its first exhibition in March 2005.
The Australia Council show continued the growing interest in and recognition of non objective art, part of an exploration of pure abstraction that has continued over the past 100 years – from Suprematism, De Stijl, Constructivism, the Bauhaus and the Art Concret manifesto of Theo van Doesburg in Europe, to Colour Field, Minimalism, Geometric, Op Art and beyond. Unlike the figurative or representational tradition in painting – and, indeed, other forms of abstraction – non objective artists usually do not attempt to reproduce the illusion of objects, or to simplify images from the real world. Instead, they create an entirely new object that the world has never seen before.
Forgo and Mijling are part of a stream of international artists that have exhibited at SNO, as the Sydney group has concentrated on opening dialogue with non objective artists around the world. To expand the conversation, we put several questions to them during their Sydney visit.

Q: Your art is reductive, so could I ask you to select just one event from your art practice that has been the highlight so far?

Riki Mijling: For me it was being chosen three years ago to exhibit at Art Cologne with Galerie Rieder. It’s one of Europe’s most respected art fairs. I’ll be back there after exhibiting at SNO this year.

Really, though, there have been so many highlights and this is a highlight right now being here at SNO.

Arpad Forgo: The 2008 one month residency at Hotel Gershwin in New York – an art hotel, my own work space, a nice room, catered. I met Polish people working in the basement on the water heating and they helped me with some of the practical aspects of my work. The hotel owner took me aside and said “New York is all about size, so you should do large works.” She gave me extra financial support to do big works – using alphabet pasta pieces on canvas.

Q: Is the world your canvas? You’ve both exhibited in many countries in Europe, the US and Asia. Now Australia. Why is this necessary for artists now?

Riki: It’s important to be out of your home town. Here I can focus on my work and get away from all the distractions of everyday life – here in the SNO studio it’s just art, and if there is spare time I can go to galleries, talk with curators, focus on my work.
In Holland people say ‘So you’re going to Australia for a holiday?’ No, it’s work, not a holiday. When I’m satisfied with the work I’ve done here for the show I hope to see some of Sydney and Australia.

Arpad: Some people don’t like to leave home, but I’ve always travelled and wanted to see the world. It’s so nice to be able to get into conversation with other artists here about concrete art. And it’s interesting to find that, like me, artists here don’t have a set view; the whole thing is constantly moving and changing. It’s like that everywhere, which makes non objective art an exciting field to work in.

In Hungary you have to go abroad to see a wide variety of art. In the area of performance the best practitioners come from all over the world to Hungary, but with visual art, very little of the art I saw in New York would reach Hungary.

Artists now are benefiting from the shrinking world, with cheaper flights and internet allowing us to network with other artists globally. Young artists can take their laptop and studio in a suitcase to work everywhere.

Q: You each create work that is carefully reduced to a simple, enigmatic object, but believe in fine hand crafting: shaping, cutting, sawing, grinding and polishing. What is the importance of this obsessive attention to detail, of creating a perfect object?

Riki: In Germany they say: ‘begeistern’. You have to put a soul into the work. It’s not simply cutting, polishing etc; it is ‘touching’ the sculpture, or putting your own ‘handwriting’ into the work. It is a process that gives the work its energy.

It doesn’t need perfection. It is a process of eliminating anything that disturbs the work or does not need to be part of it – getting rid of the imperfections. When you look at that wall (points to the far from perfect white wall), and you see that spot on it, you want to get rid of that spot to be able to see the whole wall. That opens the way to the work becoming monumental… and monumental is not to do with size; it can be small and monumental.

My goal is to get and keep the relationship with my work. In the working process small things change and you try to eliminate what is too much. Less is more is a bit of a dull saying…

Arpad: …but it works!

I started in landscapes and found that I relished stretching the canvas and preparing it more than putting a landscape on it. I respond to the material. It wants me to shape and caress. It’s how the material responds to you working with it that creates the object. I look at a piece of wood and I want to shape it and work it – particularly natural materials like wood, fibre, stone, textiles.

Nothing can be perfect, but you go up to the limit where the material lets you go.. with your hands, I like to do it all myself, not oversee industrial production.

Q: Are you seeking to charge the object with something spiritual, or are you celebrating its emptiness and freedom?

Riki: I find emptiness and freedom spiritual. I really don’t know where I’m going – that’s my adventure in life. Emptiness is full!

I want to show the concept of space because I’m very interested in it and how it inhabits architectural things and zen.

Arpad: When I finish a work I look at it and it looks back. It’s communicating somehow. I treat every work as an experiment and start by saying ‘This is going to be the knock-out work – better than the rest.’ In the end, I like all of them: one for its weight, one for size, that one for colour, and so on.

I don’t give my works titles that will narrow the view of the work for people, as I like to keep them open-ended.

Riki: I start a work with something in mind, but then something can appear in the work. It’s a gift, a present, and often pursuing this results in something better than what you started with…

Arpad: ….but not always!

Riki: I make small models from cartons or other material before I work with metal and often other ideas come in at that model stage. So the act of creation is being open to ideas, artists have to be observant to new ways of looking at the work as it evolves. A work remains alive when it carries those surprises into the ‘finished’ version.

Q: What attracted you to non objective art. Why work in ‘concrete’?

Riki: I can’t explain what I’m thinking in figurative painting, text works etc but I can explain myself in the language of non objects.

Arpad: I was always interested in things you could understand with your gut feeling; not reading half a book and then thinking you understand. It’s very, very basic. Like feeling hot or cold. It’s looking at a work and by getting closer to something unconscious you get closer to understanding everything…something like when you are high!

I’m interested in stars and the universe, and reading about them gives an impression of mankind’s size. Again it’s a very basic elementary feeling. So in this way art communicates to similar gut feelings… But there are no stars in my work!

It’s all about colour and surface. You get physical contact when you are in front of a work and I’m trying to make work that gives you a physical, gut feeling of what it’s about. After that you get involved in proportions, colours and maybe you start to count elements in the work – numbers are very elemental.

Supported by National Cultural Fund of Hungary, Parallel Foundation.
The program is realised under the auspices of the Hungarian Embassy
.



Λ top