From solidity to fragility

From solidity to fragility

The summer is often a great time for sculpture exhibitions.

Tate Britain just opened a major retrospective of Hepworth’s work including her large-scale bronzes from the 1960s. The Fine Art Society is currently showing an exhibition of new work by Emily Young, Britain’s greatest living stone sculptor. On 9 July, Sculpture in the City will open, for the fifth year, an outdoor exhibition with sculptures by a range of renowned artists, placed among the City’s iconic architectural landmarks. At this occasion, Rosenfeld Porcini, a gallery that we often visit during our Fitzrovia Art Scene tours, will present a public commission by its young Japanese artist Keita Miyazaki.

There is also still time to visit Rosenfeld Porcini’s current sculpture show, A Quivering Solidity, featuring Herbert Golser’s sculptures.

01_Herbert Golser, Untitled, 2014-15, ash wood, 105x55x108cm
Herbert Golser, ‘Untitled’ (2014-15), ash wood, 105x55x108cm, courtesy of Rosenfeld Porcini

Golser is an Austrian artist who currently lives and works in Klein-Pöchlarn, Lower Austria. His work is featured in multiple public spaces in Austria, Hungary and Italy. It is also featured in numerous Austrian churches. In 2013, he was part of The-Solo-Project in Basel.

Working almost exclusively with wood, he manipulates his material in extraordinary ways and shows a deep understanding of its complexities, strength, delicacies and range of colours. It is his first solo show in the UK and is really worth a visit. Some of the works are carved into delicate wafer-thin layers, almost like paper. Others rise vertically from the ground with bursting horizontal layers or stacked vertical sheets. The finished product is organic, pure and contemplative.

03_Herbert Golser, untitled, 2013, pear wood, 26x13x265cm
Herbert Golser, ‘Untitled’ (2013), pear wood, 26x13x265cm, courtesy of Rosenfeld Porcini

Even though Golser’s work can be traced to the great Austrian Tyrolean tradition, he distinguishes himself by departing from the figurative, often naïve tradition. In the exhibition, there is no reference to the human figure. It is abstract, with the exception of one sculpture that could be viewed as an open book.

The whole process is very precise and sophisticated. Golser has to wait months, and sometimes even years, before the finished sculpture is dry, stable and can be exhibited.  The gallery compares him to a “magician seeing inside any block of wood and understanding clearly what, from an outsider’s perspective, still lies completely hidden”.

05_Herbert Golser, Untitled, 2014, pear wood, 64x21x55cm
Herbert Golser, ‘Untitled’ (2014), pear wood, 64x21x55cm, courtesy of Rosenfeld Porcini

Golser’s works create a great feeling of balance. They are displayed in a variety of ways: some are on the ground, some are on a plinth and others are directly mounted on the walls.

06_Herbert Golser, Untitled, 2014, pear wood, 63x60x103cm
Herbert Golser, ‘Untitled’ (2014), pear wood, 63x60x103cm, courtesy of Rosenfeld Porcini

The exhibition runs until 11 July.

Address: 37 Rathbone Street, London W1T 1NZ
Opening Times: Tue – Fri 11am-7pm; Sat 12-6pm

For our Fitzrovia Art Scene tour, look at our website,