RECREATOR-ANIMATOR PIETER ENGELS
TOMORROW I MAKE THROW AWAY ART’
by L.Duinhoven DEN HAAG – Failed stencils. Pure Rorschach. Wonderfully captivating. Between these three opinions lies the truth of monotypes, prototypes and obstacles that recently – until October 2 – took possession of the print room of the Haags Gemeentemuseum. The Amsterdam creator :Pieter Engels (27) who looks like he was plucked straight from London’s Chelsea, a very different hem to his pantaloons than a typical attorney general and also has a very different attitude.
His things on the wall should be seen as designs for walls and floors. The embossed surfaces of his white aluminum or coated thick white paper prototypes are created by folding, distorting, cutting or tearing. Imagine a wall in this form or a floor – beware sidewalk – and architectural application would seem to be an invention of the first order. Why doesn’t a floor run into the wall?” said the disposable artist Engels, whose reversal of the flow of ideas unleashed more ideas than were desirable for many people’s peace of mind. When he launched his paintings three years ago in the Hague Castle for Modern Art Orez, the audience was shocked. What does this guy want with his blood-crusted factories. They look like fragments of a planet. With glue, cement, stoves, the painter “defeated” his experience of world events in a dramatic way. Pieces of jacket that happened to end up on his steaming canvases he left in place: also a palette knife, which he missed too late, or a mop. The exhibition in the frame “Zero” struck a chord and it would have done so even without the opening by Vaandrager and Van Vugt.
Perfectly opposite to Engels’ then Dionysian art is his present period which can be called apollonian. Cool, rational and above all intelligent. One wonders at the prestige. Finally, Yves Saint Laurent also made the discovery of incorporating Mondrian into fashion. Why not take these designs to explore a possibility of application in architecture. ,, How do you guess. I have already been approached by the architect of a new Chase Manhattan bank in Tokyo” , the founder of Engels Products Organization EPO can say. ,, I see this work as a working through of Mondrian, as a kind of lived-in sterility that I think out of the material.”
Previously, several years ago at Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, a striking find had made the rounds. Obstacles, the maker called his products: chairs and tables that had been circumspectly sawn to pieces, healed with hinges and draped.” At last I see a chair,” wrote one critic, rightly so. Indeed, we live off supposed certainties which, when they are compromised, can suddenly take on a different, even aesthetic, value.
Another example of the artist not shrinking from a flirtation with business: ,, Next year I have a plan ready to deliver ,, fun ” funerals. No one has ever questioned whether the customary way is the right way and in keeping with the kind of life that had been lived.” If you shift the words of the Civil Code you can even bring about pornography. Things “Are” the rest is interpretation and mine is apparently different.” Pop is his motto and art is the latest luxury item”.
Tomorrow we are going to make art that you can throw away after use.” “So will you also ask between five hundred and five thousand guilders for it?” Pieter Engels shifts his antique silver chiseled bracelet demonstratively. “Every action brings in money provided you are completely behind it”. says the re-creator whose thinking is apparently grafted onto Asia. His prototypes also have that ethereal quality that is familiar from Zen Buddhist art. In English written expressions – see the deviant folder with his own text – there is little evidence of that restraint. That is allowed. It brings an extra shade to his multifaceted activities.