Ludger Gerdes

Haus Eck (Around the Corner House), 1985

Based on an ambiguity between public place and private space, Haus Eck questions the open modernist plan, in particular that of the architect Mies van der Rohe. It has four walls erected at the corners of a square base, each one with a door offering many viewpoints. The fixture to the ground is evident from what is akin to a brown basement evoking the earth; the opening skywards, for its part, is given form by an upper yellow-coloured section. As a study of volume, painting and architecture, all at once, the work involves the loss of references between interior and exterior. The object is neither a model, nor a sculpture, but rather a composition of archetypal forms diverted from their original function and re-combined in such a way as to stimulate the imagination. Ludger Gerdes sets up a kinship between the morphology of this type of “house” and that of “English gardens” which open onto the countryside in an exchange of osmosis. At once propositions for gardens, and interplays of viewpoints and perspectives, the water colours in fact assert the systematic and mechanical character of the making of images. Gerdes’s architectural and landscape-based compositions put forward the idea of openness and free circulation in a work which incorporates the spectator in the construction of its narrative.

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