Ger van Elk: Recent painting and sculpture and a selection of earlier work

Serpentine South Gallery 30 Jan — 17 Mar 1982 Free

This Arts Council exhibition was the first major British public showing of the work of Dutch artist Ger van Elk.

The show included recent paintings and sculpture, as well as a small selection of van Elk’s (b.1941) earlier work. The choice of early work helped to introduce van Elk’s work to the public, since he had never before shown in a British public gallery. The recent works were made during the previous decade, and all used photographs as their starting point.

Jean Fisher wrote in the introduction to the catalogue that if these pieces had a constant theme “underlying the apparent diversity of van Elk’s work of the past decade, it is the dialogue between reality and the ways in which we represent our relation to it.” Fisher continues: “In his recent work, Ger van Elk manipulates three conventional means of coding reality: the photograph, painting, and sculpture, and yet the manner in which they are used is highly unconventional.”

Works featured in the exhibition included The Reality of G. Morandi 2, The Adieu, Pulling Babies, and Untitled 1, convincingly demonstrating that van Elk’s view of the world was as imaginative and original as ever.


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