Otto Berchem, Revolver

AmsterdamArt & Culture

Full Circle

What goes around comes around in revolutionary exhibition...

When you come to think about it (and one does when writing about it), the circle crops up all over the place in art and literature; perhaps it’s the simplicity, perhaps the symmetry, or maybe just the symbolism of an unbroken line inside which everything, or nothing, is contained.

Otto Berchem’s works centre on the use of the circular, although in the American-born artist’s collection Revolver the shapes are variously broken, distorted, abstract, and at times present in metaphor alone. The title not only alludes to the roundness of the visual subjects, some as innocent as a May-pole dance, but also to the weapons used in violent civil revolutions. Living and working in the colourful cities of Amsterdam and Bogotá, Berchem’s signature style is the use of wood panels, monochrome backgrounds and highlights of striking colour which follow a “chromatic alphabet” that he developed in a previous collection. Two-dimensional work is joined by large sculpture and mixed-media creations, but as the title suggests, although the topics and delivery of the works seem wildly different, everything is connected in some way. Revolution is on display at Ellen de Bruijne Projects, Amsterdam, until 6th April.

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