Oracle [2016]

Bas-relief in salvaged wood,  190 x 122 x 12cm
(private collection, Rotterdam, NL)

This bas relief was based on a window frame that is part of the Oracle assemblage by Robert Rauschenberg from 1965 that is in the collection of the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

“The Oracle bas-relief also references my earliest work. I started producing free work in the second year of art school. One of my first projects dealt with a story about the Oracle of Delphi. In 480 BC the Athenians who were under attack from the Persian army consulted the Pythia. They were told: ‘A wall of wood alone shall be uncaptured, a boon to you and your children’. The message was ambiguous, it could mean ‘hide behind your walls’, or as the Athenians took it ‘take to your ships and flee’. My plan was to build a crossover between a wall and a sailing ship. I wanted to build a flat, frontal and coloured sculpture. All the things I had just learned were frowned upon by serious sculptors. It resulted in a steel structure holding up three large elongated concrete slabs that were painted white with a large red diamond shape. Two years later the principle returned in my graduation project. I had chosen to line up a series of flat and frontal sculptures of synchronised height and width in order to end up with a ‘typology of shapes’. One of these six sculptures was a plain window frame.”

At the 20th anniversary of his choice to solely create his sculptures from found wood, Ron van der Ende focuses on the fundamental elements of his work in a series of seemingly simple shapes. The Bare Bones show at Ron Mandos in Amsterdam presents an overview of specimens that are abstracted and deconstructed, touching the core of his oeuvre.