Over 37 years ago, in 1978, Sir Nicholas Serota directed the first major retrospective of Carel Visser (b. 1928, The Netherlands) in Britain at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London. Organised by Clive Adams it then travelled to the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and the Third Eye Centre, Glasgow. Now, in 2015, The Mayor Gallery, in collaboration with Borzo gallery, Amsterdam, is presenting Carel Visser in London with a selection of sculptures, drawings and collage assemblages from 1951 to 1998, including works from his notable Salami and Double Form series.
Carel Visser studied architecture as well as Drawing and Sculpture at The Hague and throughout his career has been an extremely popular and well respected artist in The Netherlands having had a large retrospective of his works at The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1960 at 32 years of age, as well as having a number of museum and gallery presentations, Bienniale participations and commissions in graphic design.
Inspired by symmetrical forms found in nature such as the branches of trees and patterns found in the sand, he forms dynamic metal structures, experimenting with balance and symmetry. In all of his work we find his efforts to shape space and to place together different materials and forms. Working in geometric abstraction Visser continues and develops the principles of De Stijl, and cites Brancusi, Giacometti and Constant in particular as huge influences on his work. Looking back on his simplicity, we can more than once recognise the international characteristics of the work in relation to his contemporaries and the influence on art today.