Pieter Obels

Pieter Obels, born in 1968 in Kruisland and later studying at the Academy for Fine Arts in Tilburg in 1992, is an artist whose sculptures challenge the conventional perception of steel as an austere and rugged material. Despite working primarily with Corten steel, known for its robustness, Obels’ creations defy expectations by embodying a sense of lightness and grace through intricate, delicate, and sinuous shapes.


In contrast to the imposing and weighty steel sculptures of artists like Richard Serra, Obels’ works present a striking departure, almost like witnessing the yin and yang of steel. Through a skilful blend of rigidity and dynamism, his sculptures occupy a unique realm between weight and weightlessness, confounding traditional notions of steel’s limitations. The bends and curves in his pieces challenge the perceived boundaries of the material, aiming to craft organic forms with a natural, innate sense of plasticity.


One of Obels’ remarkable abilities lies in seamlessly integrating his sculptures into natural surroundings. Instead of imposing themselves, his artworks mirror the softness and harmony often found in nature, establishing a harmonious connection with the environment through their rusty brown colouration and flowing shapes.


Working independently, without assistants, Obels’ creations possess an elegiac quality, evoking a nostalgic yearning for an era that favoured poetry over power, fragility over industrial noise, and balance over force. Despite their contemporary nature, his sculptures exude a wistful sentiment for a gentler universe, embracing curves over straight lines, symbolising a world where objects harmonise, engage in dialogue, and seek mutual agreement.


Obels’ artworks reflect an aspirational world—a realm dominated by beauty, attuned to nature, and embracing the gentle curve over the rigid line. They resonate with a desire for a more harmonious coexistence, where balance and beauty reign supreme, fostering an environment where dialogue and agreement perpetually thrive.


Pieter Obels currently resides and works in Tilburg in the Netherlands.

Peter Obels in his atelier, May 2024 © René van der Hulst