The Tea Series, No. 15, 2014. Image: courtesy the artist
Ended Monday 31 August
Silvio Meier’s enigmatic designs are produced as an almost automatic and compulsive outpouring. Abstract forms are combined with geometric and figurative elements manifesting in sprawling patterns that reflect the artist’s surroundings and state of mind at the time of production.
On display will be a selection of drawings and paper-cuts, as well as a number of Meier’s diary-like sketchbooks and intricately decorated objects.
Limited editions prints are availble to purchase on the DLWP online shop or in store. http://shop.dlwp.com/artist/silvio-meier
About the Artist
Silvio Meier (b. 1981, Zurich) currently lives and works in East Sussex. He was one third of Swiss art collective ‘Maphia’ from 1999-2008.
Article by Richard Best
Silvio Meier creates complex and enigmatic patterns that are developed from the absorbed influence of his physical surroundings. These patterns are formed in precise ink drawings and intricate papercuttings, and are being exhibited together for the first time in England, at the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill.
Meier moved from London to the south coast in recent years and began to incorporate his new surroundings into his drawings. Waves and droplets are gradually becoming more prolific throughout the work creating a fluidity that disrupts his carefully considered matrices. And with a view of the sea to reflect this theme, the Pavilion’s Roof Top Foyer provides an ideal location for this exhibition. The artist is also well suited to be placed in the presence of Mendelsohn’s staircase, an iconic modernist masterpiece whose structure and shape align with the artist’s precise and intricate constructions.
The works are all provided with simple names that relate to their process and sequence, and no narration is given from the exhibition’s title; Drawings, Objects, & Papercuttings. This allows the viewer to navigate their own way through the intertwining networks of figurative symbols and geometric shapes, gradually gaining a feeling of sense from the compositions. Many images and symbols are repeated across this collection, hands and hearts and eyes, and their familiarity establishes an interaction with the work; the viewer observes the eyes as the eyes observe the viewer.
The artist begins with well-practiced lines – shapes and patterns designed within his sketchbooks – building upon these in a careful balance between geometric structuring and an organic freedom that allows for mistakes or spillages to become incorporated into the work. He plans and draws simultaneously, using a natural algorithmic process to fill every space of his surface in perfectly considered designs. Meier’s processes and materials accentuate his interest in contrast, and this is manifestly constant throughout the major themes of the work also. He strives to find a balance between a state of subconscious inspiration and an ability to direct the work with meaningful intention. And this directs the process of his work. Black ink lines and painted shapes create the silhouette of symbolic fragments but the opposite occurs in the papercuttings series; as the paper is removed light is left in its place, which moves the focus to the negative image.
Although Meier claims little influence from other artists it is possible to draw connections to MC Escher’s curious Metamorphosis I and his ingenious manipulation of architecture.
This collection is comprised of a number of dense black and white drawings on paper and sketchbooks, alongside his most recent redbush tea & watercolour works, and an ongoing project that transforms his flat papercut pieces into a dynamic layered Zoetrope. This is also the first opportunity to see Meier’s Objects on display. His wooden boxes, ostrich eggs, and pebbles are usually reserved for commission but these pieces have been retrieved from private collections to complete this definitive view of Silvio Meier.