Geotropism (also known as gravitropism) is a coordinated process of plant growth in response to gravity pulling on it. It generally occurs in all higher and many lower plants. Charles Darwin was one of the first scientists to demonstrate that roots show positive geotropism while the stem shows negative geotropism. This means that roots grow in the direction of gravitational pull (downward) while stems grow in the opposite direction (upward).
Johan Gelpers’ varied output ranges from drawings, to sculptures and installations, but all are united by an interest in exploring order and chaos. His art is deeply rooted in his fascination for the forms of nature. It is a matter of constant interaction between man and nature in all its areas of application. Although on first glance Gelpers drawings could be considered as studies to his sculptures, they have to be looked at as independent works.
His creative process often involves taking inspiration from everyday objects, transforming them into abstract artworks manifesting a unique, independent and personal identity in his work. He draws inspiration from the many styles of the twentieth century, combining swirling, organic forms with colourful minimalism. His works are composed out of organic-looking forms that are as playful as they are sophisticated, with intricate compositions that focus on the interplay between positive and negative space. While chance plays an important role in the choice of materials, the process of assembly is the exact opposite. The composition is handled meticulously, found parts are cleaned, processed, brought into the correct form, painted or consciously left in the state they are found in, to create a harmonious ensemble, both in form and colour.
Olaf Pradhan & Sofie Verbrugghen, September 2022