top of page
  • Writer's pictureDavid Eichholtz

Roland Gebhardt’s Newest Outdoor Sculpture Installed at Crystal Park in New York

LV0152, Untitled, 2022/2023, granite boulder, stainless steel column 186 × 48 × 42 inches (472.44 × 121.92 × 106.68 cm)

David Richard Gallery is pleased to announce the installation of Roland Gebhardt’s newest large-scale outdoor sculpture at Crystal Park. In the artist’s words, he states: The column sculpture consists of two volumes of different material and origin. Each volume has a distinct character. One volume is a natural boulder selected from the grounds of Crystal Park, the other is a man-made geometric form. These two volumes correspond via a common void and become as one. The void reaches beyond the physical confines of the host volume. The surrounding space uses the void to flow through the assembly. The void shares the space and form of the host volumes, leaving their characteristics intact. In this case, the linear form of the void echoes the column’s verticality. Crystal Park is a private nature retreat and art land located in Holmes, NY. To arrange a visit, please contact the gallery at d@DavidRichardGallery.

LV0152, Untitled, 2022/2023, granite boulder, stainless steel column

186 × 48 × 42 inches (472.44 × 121.92 × 106.68 cm)

Please contact the Gallery to acquire artworks by Roland Gebhardt. Selections available in a variety of sizes, materials, and price points.

Roland Gebhardt

Untitled LV0113, 2021

Painted poplar wood

42 x 42 x 12 inches

Roland Gebhardt’s studio practice has always addressed objects and how they are situated, both in space and within a space. The former, “in space”, considers the object in isolation, in and of itself, each side and detailed views of just the object, no consideration of nor interaction with any other objects, they are like sketches of discrete views on clean sheets of paper for each artwork. The latter, “within a space,” are spatial considerations that go beyond the artist’s formal and aesthetic concerns and conceptions for each isolated object as just described and often emerge when the artist contemplates several objects being presented together or as a constellation (the artist’s term for an assembly or aggregation of individual objects). Such considerations are between an object and its relationship to other objects in proximity to it as well as the physical architectural surroundings, either in an exhibition hall or the outdoors for large installation sculptures.

Roland Gebhardt

Untitled LV0124, 2021

Painted poplar wood

42 x 42 x 12 inches

Voids have been an important and foundational part of Gebhardt’s artworks. What is meant by “voids” are the aspects of an object that are not there, which have been removed, excised, or simply not included. A good example is the artist’s newest Frame pieces from 2021 and 2022. They are wall mounted constructions of white-painted wood, measuring 42 inches high by 42 inches wide and 12 inches deep off the surface of the wall, that read as open frames hanging from a cleat with the wall fully visible within and around the wooden confines of the frame. Each is comprised of one or two parallel vertical columns measuring 6 x 6 inches square laid on and attached perpendicularly in the corners (generally, or in the center) of one or two parallel horizontal columns of the same dimensions. The completed series includes structures that are either square, upside-down-U, T or L-shapes.

Roland Gebhardt

Untitled (LV0093)

Poplar wood, acrylic paint 2020

26 x 3.75 x 3.75 in

To be clear, the voids are not about the removal or loss of something or absence of some part of an object, nor what was taken away, but rather, Gebhardt uses voids to focus on what they bring to the artwork and installation. A void can create, first and foremost, a new way of looking at something, putting an emphasis on an aspect that would otherwise be overlooked. Gebhardt’s voids create explicit spatial connections between objects: whether as a component of an array of similar and sequentially permuted elements; a series of relational elements, unrelated, but proximal to other unrelated objects in a presentation, that have an interaction between the voids; or with the geometric architecture of the exhibition space itself. The absence of something may also make one appreciate the missing element or form, or the integrity it imparts to the “whole,” or the elegance of the sum of the parts to begin with, that is the whole itself.

Roland Gebhardt Untitled (LV0108) Poplar wood, acrylic paint 2021 9.75 x 9.75 x 31.5 in Click here to view the artwork

Gebhardt’s investigations have also revealed that the physical, or what he refers to as “dimensional voids” and cuts into materials and objects can be mimicked graphically with matte black paint when applied in the same proportions and locations on an otherwise identical object. What is interesting is the matte black paint as it wraps around a corner of an object or traverses between adjacent objects gives the illusion of a void that pierces the surfaces, thus suggesting the illusion of dimensionality and depth on an otherwise flat surface. Of course, if the dimensionally cut and painted objects are adjacent to one another with bright raking light and depending upon the depth of the void, the cast shadows of the dimensionally cut surface will read very different next to the black painted object. However, generally, and certainly at a first glance, the viewer’s mind is fooled with the graphic presentation of voids. The literal and painted shapes basically are read as the same thing, just with a “different vocabulary” according to the artist. This is another demonstration of the plural readings and interpretations between diverse approaches (dimensional versus graphic) and disparate materials (wood, stone, paper, metal or fruits and vegetables) as noted above.

Roland Gebhardt Untitled (0231) Lanaquarelle paper and black matte acrylic paint Stuart Semple 2018 40 x 57.5 x 1 in Click here to view the artwork

What is more intriguing and opens the viewer’s mind with respect to the relationships between adjacent or nearby objects is Gebhardt’s demonstrations with objects of different materials, such as wood and stone, or steel and wood, steel and stone (such as the new outdoor sculpture above at Crystal Park) or aluminum and paper, among numerous other diverse combinations, including fresh fruits and vegetables. When objects of different materials have voids that are in-line with each other in certain permutations and combinations, it creates a dialogue between otherwise disparate and unrelated materials or forms. Thus, the viewer becomes sensitized to looking for relationships (real or illusory, such as planar or linear connections) between materials and objects that they would otherwise not consider. This is clearly a metaphor for cultural and sociological parallels that work their way into other aspects of Gebhardt’s artistic and humanitarian interests.

Roland Gebhardt Untitled (Plates 0018) Aluminum 2017 46.5 x 30 x 2 in Click here to view the artwork

Roland Gebhardt

Untitled (Plates 0039)

Arches 640 gsm paper and zinc 2019

41.75 x 60 x 1 in

About Roland Gebhardt:

Roland Gebhardt was born in Paramaribo, Suriname 1939. He studied at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Zurich and earned a Master of Fine Arts at the Art Academy of Hamburg. He is a sculptor working in a variety of media and exhibits internationally. Probably best known for his large-scale environmental sculptures that explore the concept of “linear volume” and presented at Wave Hill and Storm King, both in New York in the early 1970s. Another important body of work was his examination of “host volumes” using a range of natural materials, including boulders, fruit and vegetables in a critically acclaimed series of eight single day presentations in 1982 at the Kunstmuseum, Duesseldorf.

Moving into a more conceptual realm, Gebhardt explored the complex subject of individual and group identity by leveraging sculpture and creating a series of masks to produce, “The Only Tribe”, a multi-media performance work at the 3LD Art & Technology Center in New York City in December of 2008. The theme of identity was further explored by incorporating dance with sculptural masks in 2013 at Storm King Art Center and on the grounds of the Chautauqua Institution. "Trophies", a further iteration incorporating music explored identity and the transformation from a living being to a hunter’s trophy.

Gebhardt’s works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums and public collections, including: the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY; Neuberger Museum, State University of New York, Purchase, NY; Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Kunstsammlung of the City of Ludwigshafen, Germany; Wave Hill, Center for Environmental Studies, Bronx, NY; among others as well as many corporate and private collections.

All Artwork Copyright © Roland Gebhardt All Courtesy David Richard Gallery. Artwork Photographs by Yao Zu Lu

11 views0 comments


bottom of page