基斯·古祖瓦德:“剪”與“集”的溫室

Kees Goudzwaard : Nursery Garden

展覽時間 Duration|Sept. 7 - Nov. 3, 2019

開幕茶會 Opening Reception|14:00, Sept. 7, 2019

藝術家對談 Artist Talk|15:00, Sept. 7, 2019

地點 Venue|10056 台北市中正區金山南路一段67巷5號1樓 No. 5, Lane 67, Section 1, Jinshan South Road, Zhongzheng District, Taipei 100

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基斯·古祖瓦德(Kees Goudzwaard)1958年出生於荷蘭烏得勒支,居住並工作於荷蘭阿納姆。個展曾於比利時根特市立當代美術館(S.M.A.K)、荷蘭阿納姆現代藝術博物館、荷蘭斯希丹市立博物館展出。並於德國杜塞爾多夫藝術宮博物館、荷蘭庫勒慕勒美術館、法國巴黎美術學院等地舉辦聯展。作品經常被重要美術館及機構典藏,如德國杜塞爾多夫藝術宮博物館、荷蘭中央銀行及美國著名的邁阿密盧貝爾家族等所收藏。

解構作品的創作方法

藝術家基斯·古祖瓦德(Kees Goudzwaard)利用矩形色紙、醋酸纖維及透明箔片,用膠帶固定出不同數量的規律網格去拼貼圖像,再以1:1的精確比例,忠實地將拼貼圖像繪製在畫布上。雖然拼貼過程緩慢、複雜且持續發展,但它意味著藝術家無數的抉擇及大量的觀察與等待,直到成果達到理想的構圖與氛圍,而後將圖像轉繪於畫布的過程,使藝術家更能專注於顏料與色彩,最後作品本身與主題變得微不足道時,藝術家與觀賞者更能在不被分心的條件下欣賞畫作。而畫布上繪製的膠帶,一方面為畫面提供比例及真實感,另一方面,透過不同的網格與空間成為線條的替代品,因此,膠帶可以是內容、記號、選擇及乘載藝術家想法的重要元素。

雖然作品的圖像形式與結構是由拼貼技術所完成,基斯·古祖瓦德卻能看見其中蘊藏的潛力並決定如何建構與繪製,透過有限的詞彙展現圖像的複雜性,因此,他的大型與小型作品不單只是抽象色彩畫作,也可視為紙和膠帶的靜物表現。雖然畫作表面十分平滑且缺乏質地,但多層次的透明度及色彩的細微變化,創造出透視的三維空間,進而欺騙觀眾的視覺,將之帶入不同平面中,有如傳統的佛蘭芒錯視畫作(Flemish trompe l'oeil painting)。

當代繪畫的嶄新詮釋

基斯·古祖瓦德的作品概念與他的教育背景及早期的事業發展(八十年代中期至九十年代初)有關,當時恰逢「後現代主義」、攝影挪用藝術的反動、廣泛宣稱的繪畫之死(特別是美國抽象概念)以及新表現主義的誕生,若是去除這些重要的背景脈絡,將無法全然理解他的作品。因此,基斯·古祖瓦德將抽象拼貼轉化為油畫的挪用概念,除了質疑抽象繪畫的根本外,同時挑戰了作者身份、原創性及創作意義,這樣的創作方式為當代繪畫發展創造新的可能性。另外,將二維物件轉移到畫布上的艱難工作,也使藝術家在看似不具任何創造力的圖像上,重新獲得創作者的身份及繪畫行為的樂趣,儘管基斯·古祖瓦德宣稱作品的重新繪製除了自我指涉外沒有其他,但實際上是拒絕承認繪畫已衰竭的一種表態。這就是為什麼基斯·古祖瓦德的畫作在某種程度上是開放、未完成的,因為他切割了作品構思的時刻與繪畫的當下。這種無意識的傾向源自對作品永恆性的抗拒與質疑,然而,這種干預不僅是自我反思或後現代主義的應用,更是展現對新議題與問題本身的慾望,且不抹去藝術家親手繪製的痕跡。也因為如此,基斯·古祖瓦德的油畫作品在拼貼圖像拆除後獲得了獨立性,強大且沈默的物質存在僅留於畫布之中。

沈默的情感表達

基斯·古祖瓦德的作品既沈默且不具故事內容,藉由顏色、空間與深度構築的純粹世界;透明度、界線與網格所組成的宇宙,直接與觀眾進行對話,雖然作品視覺上是二維平面,但透過多層次的視覺體驗,使觀眾更自由地與色彩及形狀產生情感連結。而作品的構成方式與消失的前景與背景,疏離了所有表現概念轉為純淨的表面,在當代繪畫世界中,很少見到如基斯·古祖瓦德一般,頑固地反抗創新與發展的必要性,藉油畫顏料展現繪畫的誠實態度,單純只為自己創作,這就是為什麼當我們看著基斯·古祖瓦德的畫作,能同時見到概念上的控制與富含情緒的表現,並感受到作品的平靜及那不可忽視的繪畫需求與渴望。

不僅是複製再現的創作過程

與此同時,基斯·古祖瓦德的創作手法也被提出疑問,為什麼他的作品不能視為一種完美技術或模型再製的行為,相反地,他的作品具有直接的情感呼籲,其創造力已在製作紙張與膠帶拼貼的階段就表現出來,並在緩慢的繪畫過程中,藉此抓住時間並轉化為作品實體,因此艱辛的創作過程只是達到目的手段,其過程是複雜且充滿美學與概念的。且透過觀察基斯·古祖瓦德的作品,我們獲得不經由事件去想像時間的能力:時間成為一種完全抽象的概念。這也是為什麼他的創作過程在概念上顯得重要。

基斯·古祖瓦德透過他的藝術實踐質疑文化生產的加速與商品化,試圖以畫作的完美再現去抵制消費文化,因此,他的作品不是沉默的物件,而是在每位觀眾中耳語的媒介,這種氛圍體現了繪畫無懈可擊的溝通能力。

本文改編自策展⼈伊拉瑞娜·博納卡 莎撰寫的"時間進程"

Kees Goudzwaard born in 1958 in Utrecht (NL), lives and works in Arnhem (NL). He has had solo exhibitions at S.M.A.K. Ghent (BE), Museum of Modern Art, Arnhem (NL) and Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam (NL). His work was included in several group shows at Museum Kunst Palast, Kröller-Müller Museum, Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris and amongst others. Goudzwaard’s work can be found in the permanent collections of S.M.A.K. Gent (BE), Museum Kunst Palast Düsseldorf (DE), Collectie Nederlandsche Bank (NL) and the Rubell Family Collection Miami (US), amongst others.

Process as Time

The process of Kees Goudzwaard’s works starts from creating a collage of cut-out square and rectangular pieces of coloured paper, acetate and transparent foil, which he composes in more or less regular grids by fixing them with paper masking-tape, then meticulously reproducing the collage on canvas at a scale of 1:1. The process is slow and complex, and develops gradually as it implies numerous decisions and a lot of looking and waiting until the artist finds he has achieved the desired composition and atmosphere. However, painting the collage to canvas gives this artist the freedom to concentrate exclusively on paint and colour, allowing him and consequently his public to turn to the painted image without any source of distraction as the composition and the subject have become in some way insignificant. The marks of the tape on the canvas have a double function: on the one hand they provide a sense of scale and reality to the composition; on the other, by creating different grids and spaces, they become a substitute for the line. Thus the tape itself becomes the element that contains, marks, selects and bears the sign of the artist's hand and of his decisions. 

Even if Kees Goudzwaard delegates the formal construction of the image to the technique of collage, as he remains the one who recognizes the potential in an image and chooses how to construct and paint it. He was using an extremely restricted vocabulary to achieve pictorial complexity. At the threshold between abstraction and representation, his large and small compositions can be read not only as abstract colour field paintings but also as still-life representations of paper and tape. Though his paintings are very smooth and devoid of texture, they still have the capacity to create through the various levels of transparency and the nuanced changes of colour a sense of perspective space. The strong three-dimensional and realistic presence of these works deceive the viewer into the actual existence of different planes, has justified their insertion into the tradition of Flemish trompe l'oeil painting.

The New Possibilities of Contemporary Painting

The concept of Kees Goudzwaard’s work is related to his education and the beginning of his career (mid eighties and early nineties) coincide with 'post-modernism', the insurgence of photographic appropriation strategies and the much-proclaimed death of painting (American abstraction in particular) as well as the birth of neo-expressionism and cannot be fully understood outside this critical context. Kees Goudzwaard's programmatic decision to develop oil paintings of abstract collages he has himself craftily created becomes a way of demonstrating the new possibilities the notion of appropriation has opened for painting. His work also challenges, through repetition and reproduction, ideas of authorship, originality and meaning, questioning the fundamental roots of abstract painting's modernist legacy while reclaiming the pleasure of the act of painting. The hard work of transferring onto canvas a two-dimensional object he has himself created allows him to reacquire authorship of an image that doesn't seem to imply any creativity. 

Even if his paintings' repetitive structure could suggest that there is no space except self-referentiality, his works actually refuse to acknowledge the exhaustion of painting as a practice. The reason that Kees Goudzwaard's oil paintings seem in some way open, unfinished, is because he has decided to separate the moment of editing from the moment of painting. This tendency derives from an unconsciously acquired skepticism, from an impulsive rejection of the idea of permanency and eternity linked to painting. These interventions are not just auto-reflexive, post-modern exercises, but are born out of the desire to sample new issues and question, without erasing the trace of the artist's hand. Ultimately, the work is twice removed from its author allows it to acquire an independence that explains its strong and silent physical presence.

The Expression of Silence 

Kees Goudzwaard's works is silent and no narrative. In order to find a way of communicating directly with his public, Kees Goudzwaard needs to operate in a purely pictorial universe made of colour, space and depth; a universe made of transparencies, borders and grids that, though visually totally two-dimensional, offers a layered visual experience and allows each viewer the freedom to emotionally relate to colour and shape. Thus the way the formal composition is structured and the absence of background and foreground distances Kees Goudzwaard from any idea of representation and transforms each painting into pure surface. His practice with a form of fascinating honesty (underlined by the use of oil paint) is seldom found in contemporary painting. It is as if he were painting for himself by stubbornly trying to defy the imperatives of innovation and development. Therefore, no one can deny the fact that Kees Goudzwaard still feels the need and the desire to paint. This is why Kees Goudzwaard's paintings can at the same time be so conceptually controlled yet emotionally charged.

Not Only Repetition and Reproduction

At the same time, this prompts the question of why Kees Goudzwaard’s work can't be dismissed as a technically perfect and highly seductive and obsessive activity of copying self-made models. Instead, Kees Goudzwaard's work has such a direct emotional appeal because his creativity manifests itself in the first phase of composing the paper and tape collages, it is the slow process of creating the paintings that allows him to capture time as a solid entity. The painstaking production process is simply a means to an end, which is complex, aesthetical and conceptual. We gain the capacity to imagine time without events: time as a totally abstract monolithic concept. This is why his production process becomes conceptually important.

Through his practice Kees Goudzwaard questions the acceleration of cultural production and its commodification; it is as if by obsessively reproducing in his perfect paintings a form of suspension he was trying to resist consumption. His works are thus not silent objects but become agents that can whisper to each spectator an atmosphere that testifies to painting's unabashed communicative power.

This article is edited from "Process As Time" by Ilaria Bonacossa.