Róbert Köteles n. 1973
Radically counterpointing the figurative movement, Róbert Köteles is one of those artists who revisits and persists in working with non¬figurative painting. Since early on in his career, Róbert Köteles has started working with a filigreed weaving called „Clipa”, a virtually untranslatable term from Romanian, meaning „still moment”; it relates to both time and space, both active in a pregnant state of new shapes and moments that start diverging, colliding and ultimately shaping our reality. The artist continuously and obsessively tests this state of matter that exists underneath the surface of our perception. So thorough is his search, so unrelenting is the urgency of his artworks, that while he seizes “Clipa” in intricate geometrical webbings, so does “Clipa” seize him in its endless possibilities of genesis.
Róbert Köteles’S first series began in 1999, with his graduation project which thereafter inspired a complete dedication in non-figurative painting, thus inscribing in the descent of Timișoara’s artistic experiments, following in the footsteps of his professor at the University, the notable Romanian artist, Constantin Flondor, one of the founding members of the Sigma group.
„Clipa” was composed of geometrical shapes and patterns, in freehand drawings in ink or acrylic on canvas. The absence of mechanical accuracy makes his early works feel organic, but also translates the tireless repeated motions of the artist’s pattern-making, ever-shifting and making itself extant.
What followed was a generative period, with colours exploding from the network, fading into contours of weavings and merging in gradients of watercolor over the ink-drawn surfaces. His artworks did not just organically shape, but started twisting, bulging and stretching over sculptural surfaces (wrapped paper, curling canvases or optical effects under the effect of coloured glass or soap bubbles).
Starting with 2010, the grid named “Clipa” sunk into shapes of colours and near-perfect geometrical constructions with ink and acrylic on canvas. No longer brought into plain sight, “Clipa” was shaped by angular traces of colour in blue, red, yellow, black and white, deepening the abstract momentum of Róbert Köteles’s work.
His most recent series, Mater explores a new topography of a map without its territory, where the geography of reality does not explore the politics of an environment, but the environment itself as what it is and not of how it could be appropriated.
Róbert Köteles’ approach discloses its instruments and deconstructs them up to their constitutive elements (the point, the line, the stroke of colour). Once decomposed, those primary signs become vectors of a complex reasoning which places spatiality and temporality at the core of his discourse.