Exhibition
15 November 2021–13 January 2022

Perspectives of Symmetry by Anton Bakker

15 November 2021–13 January 2022 | Part of Alserkal Art Week

Anton Bakker is a Dutch contemporary artist, currently based in New York, specialising in sculpture and its digital possibilities. The artist has spent over 40 years exploring how technology can be utilised to further his artistic practice. Bakker’s interest in sculpture originates with his love of mathematics and patterns. His work can be viewed as explorations into the hidden beauty of atomic lattices. The Middle East has an established place in the rich history of Mathematics. This show expresses Bakker’s understanding of the evolving and intertwining layers of time and space that have allowed for these sculptures to exist. There is a resonance between the work and their geographical location that heightens the already peaceful nature of their geometrically perfect forms.

Starts 15 November 2021

Ends 13 January 2022

Venue Leila Heller Gallery

Warehouse 86/87

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Anton Bakker is a Dutch contemporary artist, currently based in New York, specialising in sculpture and its digital possibilities. The artist has spent over 40 years exploring how technology can be utilised to further his artistic practice. Bakker’s interest in sculpture originates with his love of mathematics and patterns. His work can be viewed as explorations into the hidden beauty of atomic lattices.

The Middle East has an established place in the rich history of Mathematics. This show expresses Bakker’s understanding of the evolving and intertwining layers of time and space that have allowed for these sculptures to exist. There is a resonance between the work and their geographical location that heightens the already peaceful nature of their geometrically perfect forms.

The mercurial element of Bakker’s works leaves viewers questioning whether there are illusionary elements at play. The works are substantial in mass yet fluid in form replicating how the natural world exists in constant state of flux. The importance of engaging with differing perspectives is central to experience the full scope of the works. The sculptures seem to transform as you move through the space reflecting Bakker’s desire for the sculptures to inspire multiplicity in how viewers approach their daily lives.

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Anton Bakker is a contemporary artist specialising in sculpture and its digital possibilities. He has been influenced by the people and experiences of his life in the Netherlands, France, and in the United States, where his artistic practice has been based for more than 30 years.

While growing up in the Netherlands, Bakker met mathematician and artist Dr. Jacobus “Koos” Verhoeff at the suggestion of his sister’s classmate. What began as a simple introduction over a shared interest in computer technology turned into a 40-year artistic collaboration. Koos was a professional acquaintance and informal advisor on mathematical matters to the famed M.C. Escher. As an expression of his gratitude, Escher gifted Koos one of his prints. It was through Koos that Bakker became influenced by Escher’s unprecedented approach to perspective.

As their relationship developed, Koos and Bakker began to explore computer-based methods to find intriguing and beautiful paths within cubic lattice structures and polyhedra. Cubic lattices form the basis of the most stable molecular forms of many elements.

In the 1980s, Bakker moved to the United States, and he and Koos had their first joint sculpture exhibition in Albany, New York. Subsequently, Bakker leveraged his growing knowledge of computer science to pursue a career in technology, landing a position that required relocating to Paris for much of the 1990s. While in Paris, Bakker resumed regular face-to-face work sessions with Koos. Together, they created multiple lattice-derived sculptures that were exhibited throughout Europe.

Meanwhile, Bakker was at the forefront of a new tech field, working with innovators in Belgium to explore the possibilities of 3D printing. Upon returning to the U.S. in 1997, he started a business centered on data analysis all the while maintaining his artistic practice. His solutions for practical design and construction problems opened new possibilities for connecting lattice points with curved and polylinear paths. By applying these techniques at both small and large scales in steel and; bronze, as well as in virtual reality, Bakker has created unique sculptures that have been collected privately and publicly throughout the United States and Europe.

Bakker sold his tech business in 2018, shortly after the death of Koos, to devote himself to art full time. Today, he uses technology to compose paths in order to find those with a unique beauty that transforms as viewers shift their points of view. With the aid of a computer interface, Bakker searches vast lattice expanses to identify points that generate intriguing paths in a quest to challenge the limits of perception and perspective.

ABOUT THE GALLERY

Since its establishment over three decades ago in New York, Leila Heller Gallery has gained worldwide recognition as a pioneer in promoting a creative dialogue and exchange between Western artists and Middle Eastern, Central and Southeast Asian artists. It has garnered a reputation for identifying and cultivating the careers of artists leaving a lasting impact on contemporary art and culture. Currently representing a diverse roster of Western and Middle Eastern artists, the gallery is also active in the American, European, and Middle Eastern secondary art markets. In November 2015, Leila Heller Gallery opened its first international location in Dubai’s Alserkal Avenue. At 14,000 square feet, the state of the art gallery features three exhibition spaces, making it the largest gallery in the UAE. Showcasing leading regional and international artists, many of whom will be presenting their work in the Middle East.

Anton Bakker

Opus 125707, 2021

Bronze

Height 25 cm

Anton Bakker

Opus 185131,2021

Bronze

Height 50 cm

Anton Bakker

Opus 24582, 2021

Bronze

Height 50 cm

Anton Bakker

Opus 951465, 2021

Bronze

Height 50 cm

Anton Bakker

Opus 325846, 2021

Stainless steel

Height 152 cm

Anton Bakker

Opus 191008, 2021

Bronze

Height 50 cm

Anton Bakker

Cubic Space, 2021

Bronze

50 cm