Anton Cotteleer og Hans van der Ham – Benelux Fokus
28 apr 202327 maj 2023

Anton Cotteleer: On top, 2021. Pressefoto, Galleri Kant.

ANTON COTTELEER (b.1974) lives and works in Kalmhout, Belgium. He is honoured with a Laureate at the Higher Institute for Fine Arts and holds a Master’s in Sculpture from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, in Antwerp. He initiated his career at the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten in Antwerp. Anton Cotteleer has exhibited extensively and his works are included in numerous public, corporate and private collections.

The exhibition’s sculptures are created from bronze and various forms of plastic materials such as acrylic, resin, and epoxy, and the colourful sculptures all have a textile-like fluffy surface. Cotteleer’s sculptures are elegant and move between the abstract and the figurative. He is particularly interested in how humans in a Western context seem to form personal and close bonds with domesticated animals. In his sculptures, Cotteleer cuts animals and people into fragments and reassembles them in a new way, which also seems to create a common skin. A female torso merges with a cat’s tail and hind legs or a human head is given octopus arms which are placed on an everyday piece of furniture such as a stool. There is always latent autobiographical traces to be found in his sculptures such as memories, photographs, newspaper articles, and sensorial experiences. Despite the elegance of Cotteleer’s sculptures, something sinister always seems to linger beneath the surface. The bodies are fragmented and reduced to mere body parts – a person is no longer present. Cotteleer is partially interested in the part of the body that has been removed and which is not present, he focuses on the individual body parts which for him have become figurations that he assembles with other body parts and objects that are covered in fluffy textile surfaces. The textile element he finds inspiration in Flemish home interior design such as carpets, curtains, and rugs that Cotteleer particularly remembers from his childhood. As he describes it in an interview: ‘My love for typical Flemish interiors probably stems from my childhood. When you are a kid, colours, smells, and shapes are more intense. Nowadays, I often work with materials and interiors that I had to avoid as a child because of asthma problems. I always try to work with contrasts. For example, I like to contrast my rather erotic figuration with “kneuterige”, or granny-like interior’. Cotteleer’s practice draws lines to Surrealism, Dadaism, and the abstract sculptural tradition. With an elegant abstract lightness that is found in the German-French sculptor Jean Hans Arp’s (1886-1966) practice merges with the German photographer and sculptor Hans Bellmer’s (1902-1975) deconstructed and sometimes creepy composite mannequins dolls. Cotteleer’s fragmented body parts, animal parts, and everyday objects which he emerges together in his sculptures create a common body, skin, and narrative.

HANS VAN DER HAM (b.1960) lives and works in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He studied classical piano at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and the Utrecht Conservatory before studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam. Hans van der Ham has exhibited extensively and his works are included in numerous public, corporate and private collections.

Over the last 30 years, he has become known for his black sculptures in clay and his work with dark gouache and ink. Since 2020, he has further developed his oeuvre and today he also creates the oil painting based on this same dark and expressive style. Van der Ham’s paintings are powerful and have a pervasive, almost painful darkness, where characters, animals, and figures are staged in dim spaces and landscapes. There are no concrete narratives in his paintings, they consist of fragments from anecdotes and hidden memories. He is inspired by tribal and Renaissance art which assumed that an image was animated. In the Renaissance, it was believed that the space of the painting was not a limited constructed space based on canvas and paint, but it was a space that the viewer could step into. This space van der Ham tabs into with his paintings as he almost tries to liberate the painting’s captured souls as he expresses it. In van der Ham’s paintings, his aesthetic approach draws a line to Cubism, German Expressionism, and Dutch Renaissance painting. A fundamental approach for van der Ham is spontaneity and turning thinking into action. By the physical act of painting, he tries to create an intuitive space where intellectual thinking becomes a bodily action. His background as a composer is also reflected in his practice, which he describes as follows: ‘The beginning of a painting feels like the setting up of an orchestral score, after which the ‘soloists’ float to the surface of their own accord.’

Galleri KANT

St. Kongensgade 3, Baghuset
1264 København K

Tirs-fre 12-18
Lør 12-16 eller efter aftale

Gratis entré


+45 2946 6331

Anton Cotteleer og Hans van der Ham – Benelux Fokus
28 apr 202327 maj 2023


'Anton Cotteleer og Hans van der Ham - Benelux Fokus'