Accidental encounter

05-11-2018 in: Current, Exhibition

Exhibition: Gabriel Roca – ‘Composing Nature (Tenerife)’ – 11 November 2018 – 24 February 2019

My preference for exhibiting the art I accidentally encounter and that immediately makes an impression on me comes from the idea that the choice follows on from my own uninhibited preference. The desire to work with the makers of such art is therefore not a rational consideration or the result of a predetermined plan. These choices suit me by definition and follow the dynamics of my own development and are thus based on cherished intuition.

Now that I am writing about it, this fits in with a story from my student days. An extremely talented friend of mine was really worried whether the things he made really fitted in with his line of work. His fear was so paralysing that he could hardly achieve any results at all. And if he did manage to create something, it was insufficiently distinguished. I tried to explain to him that simply because he made the work, it suited him by definition and that every other fixed conceptual guideline for his own style or line would be too forced and wrong. In the end I failed to convince him. Infected by conceptual thinking, he was no longer able to trust his own qualities and intuition.

I came across Gabriel Roca (‘Gabi’) and his work in Tenerife while visiting Leo and Susan Coolen. It was love at first sight. Gabi’s work, whose roots are in Tenerife, immediately convinced me. He makes his art from whatever the island had to offer. Pine needles that have always traditionally been used for all kinds of things, a tradition that has been revived by the need resulting from the recent crisis, serve as raw materials for Gabi’s work. As well as using pine needles, he also makes drawings and installations using black volcanic sand from the beaches of Tenerife.

At the same time, Gabi is a man of the world, has lived and worked on different continents and is apparently easily able to maintain his own way of thinking and working with integrity. The work and his personality merge together almost naturally. This is something I have never been so aware of. Gabi does not worry about the conceptual direction, because the work and the artist are one, and the development is that of a civilised artist in our world. 

Please click the following link for more information about the artist and the art works in our collection. 

For the most recent selection of art works in the Van Abbevitrine, please click the following link