Rosenfeld Porcini is proud to present Austrian sculptor Herbert Golser’s inaugural UK solo show A Quivering Solidity. This follows his participation in the gallery’s fourth themed group exhibition WOOD, which gathered four artists who all sculpt with wood, yet use the medium in diverse ways, both technically and from a narrative point of view. The gallery will feature Golser’s most recent sculptures.
Herbert Golser works almost exclusively with wood, which thereby places him in the great Austrian Tyrolean tradition; however, whereas the above mentioned practice of figurative sculpture can arguably be perceived as quite naive and at times even a little crude, the artist's work is the height of refinement. The title of this exhibition reveals clearly the unique qualities of Herbert Golser’s sculptures, which manage to resolve the apparent contradiction between solidity and extreme fragility. His pieces have a great feeling of balance yet also precariousness. Golser delves into the very soul of his material gradually exposing its inner core until it reaches a stage where the thinness of the wood can make it appear to seem like paper. It is not surprising that the only figurative idea he has taken on is the book, both closed and stretched open, pages partially turned.
Over the recent years, there has been great development in Herbert Golser’s sculptures, both an increased ambition and an amplified sense of risk. The way in which the artist sculpts the wood clearly involves an inordinate level of skill but also a similar amount of patience: After cutting through the wood and revealing its most intimate workings, Golser will have to wait months, and on occasions even years, before the finished sculpture is dry, stable and can be shown.
Michelangelo famously said that the figure already existed inside the slab of marble and his task was to free it for life. The way in which Herbert Golser understands wood with its veins and knots, its strength and delicacies, its colour and light, is similar in approach: He is like a magician seeing inside any block of wood and understanding clearly what, from an outsider’s perspective, still lies completely hidden.
The contemporary art world tends to be obsessed with concepts and narratives. This places Herbert Golser in an interesting position: His sculptures do not possess any overt messages, but rather he creates extraordinarily beautiful pieces directly out of nature’s purest material, revealing both the power of the artist to enrich our lives but also, more importantly, he opens our eyes and directs our senses towards what lies inside our natural world; surely there are few more noble 'concepts' than this.
Herbert Golser (b. 1960, Austria) currently lives and works in Klein-Pöchlarn, lower Austria. He has attended the University of Applied Arts in Vienna under the direction of Prof. Bruno Gironcoli graduating with distinction (1988-93), as well as the Technical School for Wood and Stone Sculpture, Hellein (1982-85). Golser has won numerous awards such as the residence Maltator Gmünd (Austria, 2014), first place at the City of Pöchlarn Art Prize (2013), and the residence Fundacion Torre-Pujales Corme in Galicia (Spain, 2012). His work is featured in multiple public spaces in Austria, Hungary and Italy; in Austrian churches (Loosdorf/Melk – Lower Austria, and Draßburg). In 2013 Herbert Golser was part of The- Solo-Project in Basel.