Art + Design Lecture: Karlis Rekevics
Northeastern University and the Department of Art + Design present artist Karlis Rekevics.
Open and free to the public
Rekevics is engaged in a dialog with the built environment. Karen Wilkin, writing for Sculpture magazine states, “Rekevics’ generously-scaled, weirdly architectural cast plaster constructions are robust, aggressive and materially expressive sculptures. They are also evocative and elusive. For all their size, their evident mass and weight, and their rough material palette, Rekevics’ haunting structures refuel to rely solely on the unignorable fact of their considerable presence or to yield to a single reading. Somehow, they conjure up a wealth of often contradictory but enriching associations. With their idiosyncratic metal superstructures and glowing incandescent bulbs, they suggest the unlovlier parts of the urban environment expediently built, unconsidered, usually peripheral, often decaying elements of the city which we habitually encounter but almost never register. Yet these references are simply Rekevics’ starting point. His real subject is the way memory transforms perception. His sculptures are rooted in real experience, but it is experience tempered by recollection.changed, fragmented, conflated, and reordered, before being translated into an intensely physical metaphorical language. The architectural allusions of Rekevics’ work notwithstanding, he plays fast and loose with rational spatial and structural relationships, altering scale and defeating logical expectations. His component forms are never cast from pre-existing objects; he constructs his own versions of the urban landscape in the studio, essentially in reverse, as molds, their proportions and character subtly altered.”
Rekevics is a passionate “maker,” deeply involved in the physical process and convinced that the history of a sculpture’s making and the character of its materials are inseparable from the expressiveness. The brute presence of the work and obvious pleasure Rekevics takes in raw industrial materials invite comparison with Richard Serra’s enormously influential sculptures.
Yet the sculptural work is more than just the pure raw physicality of the materials and ability to command and dominate space. Karlis Rekevics evokes architecture in a more abstract and phenomenological fashion that is closely tied to the real world and, at the same time, compelling as unreal, created structures. His works are both a place and an object. Although reminiscent of Merzbau by Kurt Schwitters and the works of Rachael Whiteread, Rekevics creates unusual plaster environments that are of a more poetic nature. His work is unique in that he is not reproducing or critiquing a built space; he is evoking an experience rather than making a literal construction.