top of page

Borrowed forms

The sculptures of Johan Gelper link the immaterial realm with a tangible reality through careful reorganization of contemporary objects. His sculptures are the result of a series of experiments that construct balanced systems of order in a process where found objects are organized and combined as borrowed forms, reimagining a new system. Through reorganization, components are charged with a deeply personal significance and correlate with each other in a way that contrasts with their materiality. By questioning the value society places on objects and how objects ascribe meaning to places and times we inhabit. Gelper's works are open-formed variables in our communal equation.


Vibrant and dynamic, the works reveal an urgent need to rearange and provoke, instrumentalising the aesthetics of sculptures to reflect a hidden struggle. The artist aims to study the ambiguity of handmade objects on the basis of both natural and manufactured elements. By contrasting the geometric with the organic, the industrial with the natural, his works become instruments of conflict that somehow manage to resolve themselves. At the same time, the precariousness of the sculptures appears to put them on the verge of dissolution, with intricate constructions, sometimes literally balancing of a single nail. This deceptive instability  emits a sense of urgency that jolts the viewer into action by emphasizing the transient nature of moments of balance.

Gelper's sculptures are the result of an evolutive process. Each work on display is a reaction to and reimagination of a previous work, enriched with a reflection on it's environment and it's position therein. Demonstrating the dialectic nature of both artistic process and broader progress, the selected works incorporate various philosophies from dadaism over constructivism to pop art. If the process behind the sculptures means they will present themselves in different ways to different viewers, the end result always exudes a playful, crude elegance, all the while reminding us that finding a new balance requires determination and imagination.

2017, Ida Wollens 

DMW Artspace

bottom of page