Public Installation

Pieter Obels on the Art in Mayfair Sculpture Trail
Mayfair, London
10 June - 03 July 2024

As part of Mayfair Sculpture Trail 2024, Opera Gallery is pleased to present Pieter Obels’ sculpture titled How soon is now? (2024). Constructed in corten steel and measuring 225 x 260 x 230 cm, this unique outdoor work challenges the conventional perception of steel as an austere and rugged material. The work will remain in place at 22 Berkeley Square in London until July 7th 2024.


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. 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 work challenges 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. 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.


Rather than working from sketches or models, the artist commits his ideas directly to sheets of metal, bending them in his studio to assume natural and organic shapes. This process continues until he is satisfied with the contortion of the three dimensional shape that he has created. To complete a work, he places it outdoors for a period, the natural layer of rust that it develops being the final stage of its creation.


Obels currently resides and works in Tilburg in the Netherlands.


More information here.