Des Fourmis et Des Signes
JGM. Galerie is pleased to announce the return to Paris of Peter Kogler (Innsbruck 1959) with a personal exhibition presenting his recent work.
For the past twenty years the Viennese artist, who created the Porte d'Italie skate park as part of the state commission for Tramway T3 in the south of Paris, and has participated twice in the Documenta in Kassel as well as in a number of international events, has developed an approach that involves a series of recurring motifs that create a mental landscape.
Ants, brains, globes, light bulbs and interlacing designs offer variations on elements of vocabulary while retaining an aspect that is purified, literally essential. Digitally modelled and then organised on varied surfaces and within the space in a two and three-dimensional form, these elements create many social metaphors. Their obsessive size also explains the ease with which they can adapt psychological content : which is certainly not unintentional when we recall that Vienna was the birthplace of psychoanalysis at the beginning of the last century. And it is here too that the question of ornament has been posed with the most acuteness. Thanks to Peter Kogler, the ant has secured a select place in the pantheon of shapes established by modern art, as has the brain. But the item of anatomy which preoccupies him is no longer the container but its content. It is tempting to talk of the plasticity of the brain but the dimension that most imposes itself is the intrinsic link between mind and matter that the use of this symbol infers.
For this exhibition the artist appropriates both the walls and the space by permutating these motifs from the picture to everyday furniture such as a table or bench, thus hallmarking his elaborate vision of sculpture. Without doubt, Peter Kogler masters all the elements of a system whose categories are carefully labelled. He is undeniably one of the few who attain a constant aesthetic progression because he never finds himself trapped in a corner. On the contrary he erodes the margins and extends the contours of his own geography, whose landscape recalls the mountains and valleys of his native country.
His undertaking for each installation demonstrates his will to differ and displace, not in the sense of arrangement itself, but in the purely dialectical sense of the advances that have always been specific to Viennese modernism.
Ami Barak, curator