Hermann Nitsch, Pieter Obels, 'Momentous Convergence'

29 February - 15 March 2024

'Momentous Convergence' sparks a unique dialogue between Pieter Obels and the late Hermann Nitsch, blending the organic steel choreographies of the Dutch sculptor with the expressive, controversial œuvre of the Austrian visionary.


Hermann Nitsch's Viennese Actionism challenged conventions, exploring the body's role in creation through performances that transcended art's traditional boundaries. His rituals, often utilising blood, offered a visceral experience, questioning the duality of existence.


Nitsch's Theatre of Orgies and Mysteries, a dynamic blend of color, sound, and body, invited spectators to participate in cathartic celebrations, revealing the raw truths of life and death. His later paintings, vibrant with carmine, evolved into explosive gestures capturing the artist's raw energy and duality.


In contrast, Pieter Obels' steel sculptures defy gravity, transforming humble metals into organic, weightless forms. Working in solitude, Obels uses Corten steel, allowing natural oxidation to enhance the emotional impact of his creations. His minimalistic approach contrasts with conceptual aesthetics, creating a contemplative dialogue between space, object, and viewer.


Obels' recent works, such as Among the Leaves and The Night we Met, evoke silent meditation on life's ephemeral nature. The sculptures, stripped of excess, reveal intrinsic elegance and simplicity, prompting viewers to engage with movement and varied perspectives. Obels' art transcends representation, becoming a medium to explore the delicate beauty of the world, reminiscent of Nitsch's belief in the eternal motion of creation.


Navigating the works of Hermann Nitsch and Pieter Obels, visitors discover that their practices, though distinct, are deeply complementary. Obels' refined minimalism provides a visual counterpoint to Nitsch's visceral maximalism, creating a dialogue that transcends conventional artistic boundaries. Together, they weave a narrative exploring the essence of creation, destruction, and the infinite possibilities in between.


This exhibition stands as a testament to the power of art to transcend boundaries and connect disparate worlds. The works of Pieter Obels and Hermann Nitsch serve as catalysts for contemplation, celebrating the raw beauty that resides within us all. Welcome to a groundbreaking experience that marks a momentous convergence of artistic expression at Opera Gallery Dubai from 29 February to 15 March, 2024.

"Hermann Nitsch, Pieter Obels: Momentous Convergence" exhibition view, February 2024 © Jimmy de Paris