Persona October, 21st 2021 by

World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 337 - Peter Zegveld

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World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 337 – Peter Zegveld
In the GoMulan Gallery I saw work by Tobias Asser and Peter Zegveld. Peter Zegveld himself is present and tells more about his gouaches and sculptural installations.
Those gouaches hang in large and the original small format. I see a white face of a girl in very simple form staring at you penetratingly. The gaze seems to come from an infinite depth. Gaze (Settela) is the title of the work. Settela is the (sinti) girl with the head scarf who looks out from the doorway of the train to Auschwitz.
And a gouache of a man staring forward from behind the slit of two white doors/curtains, titled ‘Emergence’. But you can’t tell if he’s really looking, he mainly stands and his shoulders seem to flare out into wings. Maybe he’s about to fly out.

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Moving installations
In addition, there are some moving installations such as Display Dynamique and Rondo.
In Display Dynamique, we see a black male standing on a round base form desperately defending against a large rolling pin that is flattening him. When the roller has gone over it, it turns out that he is still alive, but the roller continues. It will try to crush him one more time. It evokes thoughts of the employee of an office or a company or to the Dutch tax allowance affair.

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On Rondo, a large black metal ball pushes a house back. The house keeps recoiling, but the big ball continues unabated, without, incidentally – as with Display Dynamique – physically taking hold of the house. But the threat is just as great. It is oppressive and alienating, as is also evident in Kafka’s novels.

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Dynamics and melancholy
Peter Zegveld has made dozens of such installations. Not all of them are as overly forceful as these two. He uses various materials – as if he were a physicist – to put together objects in which something moves, and it is precisely this movement that makes the message clear.
At Zegveld it is about two things: dynamism and melancholy. He says the following about it: “Dynamics shapes the flow of life. No life without progress. It is a progression that takes place in opposites: day and night, birth and death. I show this in a fixed image, a sculpture.”
When the viewer looks at it, he/she stops the process for a while. But the dynamics continue, in the image/installation. This movement is more difficult to achieve in paintings. Zegveld: “The dynamics in a landscape are ‘low movement’. I like sketches and drawings, more than paintings, because there’s more life in them.” He does this with calligraphic wavy lines.
The drawings are notations of a dynamic process. “You can almost read them as sound notations. And also interpret it as traces of an action, an almost calligraphic act. They lead to an image that is metaphorical.”

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Key work
Does he have a key work? He has. It’s called ‘Dynamica Tumultus’. “Made in the early eighties. It takes place in an outdoor theater with a choir on the left of the stage and an orchestra on the right and a highway behind it. Behind the highway is a red sea container. Cars whiz past at 180 km per hour on that highway. You hear the car coming and it goes so fast that you hardly notice it. There is a ‘doppler effect’: you hear the approaching tone of the car and a tone that is moving away, a semitone lower. The work contains dynamism and the melancholy of something that disappears. Very minimal. It’s almost like painting with the color of the car.”

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In the period after this, Zegveld went on to do a lot of theater. Among others with the music theater company Orkater and the TV program Villa Achterwerk of the VPRO.
The free and uncertain path
Peter Zegveld graduated from the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague in the late 1970s. “Then began the free and uncertain path. I have had a professional practice since 1979. As time went on, I became more and more interested in certain things and became more enthusiastic about certain projects. I’m seventy now, and when I look back down the path, it turns out I didn’t fare so badly after all.”
Does he have anything special/philosophical in closing? “There is the phenomenon that a sensory perception unintentionally also evokes other sensory impressions. That’s called synesthesia. I have that with graphic images: I immediately translate that into sound. A thick line is a low sound, a thin line is a high sound. When I hear a low sound, I think of liquid chocolate. Then you immediately have a sculpture.”

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