A Light Bulb Moment
JGM welcomes Peter Kogler (1959) for the third time with a personal exhibition of his recent works.
Lately, as part of a public order linked to the new Parisian T3 East tram line, the artist decorated the Périphérique's (Paris ring road) bridge columns at the Porte de Pantin with amber colored light panels representing the uninterrupted cortege of ants that transformed into a deployed and moving planisphere. After his much appreciated intervention at the Pompidou Centre in the Spring of 2012, this came as a conclusion to a year that didn't leave Parisians unaware.
Peter Kogler has unwearyingly over the past 20 years offered different versions of the recurrent themes of ants, brains, globes, light bulbs and other interlaces that map out a mental landscape. He was one of the pioneers of computer-assisted work and continues to use it in a bi and tridimensional way so to underline as many social metaphors. Their obsessive characters also heighten the ease in which they sometimes upgrade psychic contents. The artist also meticulously involves the idea of decoration. Thanks to Peter Kogler, the ant, as well as the brain, now occupies an important position in the spectrum of shapes devoted by modern art. But the element he is obsessed with is the implicit semiology of his symbols. We could speak of the importance of their plasticity but what is primarily perceived is the inherent link between the spirit and the material more than the established use of his symbols.
For this exhibition, the artist intervenes on the walls as well as in the entire space by switching patterns between pictures and drawings and the everyday furniture, table and bench, affirming this way his elaborated vision of sculpture and drawing.
Drawing also evolves but not only through the change of tools. In this exhibition one will notice that the graphic elements have taken the road to mapping and the lines have open themselves like contours, imaginary lines that join all the points on the same level, that act as points of views to the viewer. One can undeniably find in Peter Kogler's work all the ingredients of a system whose boxes are carefully placed into order. He is one of the few who manages to constantly go beyond aesthetics. He never lets in to being cornered, but quite the opposite, he nibbles margins and widens the outlines of a geography which resembles that of his country which is mostly composed of mountains and valleys.
What he undertakes in every exhibition is a will to differ, to shift, in a purely dialectical sense of the progress so peculiar to Viennese modernism.
Ami Barak, curator