“Geometric exercises”, the second exhibition at Parra & Romero by Germaine Kruip (Castrium, Holland, 1970) plays with abstract forms and images, and in doing so seeks ways to both activate sculpture and capture performance in a more or less stable form.
Germaine Kruip, who worked in theatre before moving over to visual arts, is fascinated by the process of transformation of an object through a gesture. In analogy to Orson Welles’ statement ‘acting is like sculpture’., Kruip’s objects, like gestures, appear and disappear in movement.
She gets into “geometric exercises” and plays with the way we create an image or shape in our minds, suggesting that by playing we can create new visions. In her geometric language ellipses turn into circles and images and objects fall apart in movement and reflection.
The exhibition starts with “Phantom”(2012), a shadow piece that suggests a nonexistent object, only present though a circular shadow: both the work and its ghost. A moving geometric shape is suspended from the ceiling. Its mirrored and white surfaces turn horizontally and vertically around its heart. The geometric shape forms and falls apart in the continuous movement and is a continuation of Kruip’s forays into a physical reactivation of geometrical references from art history. While the previous works in this series alluded to Dutch art movement De Stijl these new ones are a nod to the abstractions of Brazil’s Neo-Concretism, and particularly Lygia Clark’s animate explorations of geometry. This Counter Movement (mirrored / white)” (2013) Is echoed by an identical work made out of black matte carbon in the other corner of the gallery.
Counter Light (2012), an earlier experiment in geometry, recreates a composition by Theo Van Doesburg in light reflected on the wall by four mirrors that are suspended from the ceiling. The immaterial image addresses our visual memory and art history. In analogy to Phantom the object itself is not there, only its traces. “Counter Light”, 2012 is a continuation of “Counter Shadow”(2010), shown in Germaine’s show at the gallery in 2010, hat instead of a light reflection, projected a shadow of the same composition. [For those who saw this one before, Counter Light acts as a “déjà vu”, a half-remembered moment, that in its repetition turns out to be slightly different. Perception and memory do not quite match.]
Also “Untitled Circle”(2013) plays with the manipulation of geometrical shapes in their reflection: a mirrored ellipse on the floor projects a perfect circle of light on the wall. Like the other works on show, the shapes are simple, just like the gestures that transform them and it is exactly in this lightness, their playful touch, that their power lies.
Germaine Kruip’s work has recently been exhibited at List Visual Arts Center at MIT, Boston, USA; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Art Basel 41, Basel, Switzerland; The Approach, London, Museum De Paviljoens, Almere, The Netherlands; The Centro Cultural Montehermoso, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany; The David Roberts Foundation, London, UK: Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan; The Drawing Centre, New York and in the MARZ Gallery, Lisbon, Portugal, among others.