On an Alpine winter holiday at a formal dinner in an old-style spa hotel the father of a choir colleague of my girlfriend, making polite conversation, mentioned an artist he knows, the son of the local baker from the Bavarian village he was born. What are the chances! Out of it grew one of the longest and most successful collaborations even though Hans’ work substantially differs from the core gallery program. Using modern technologies, mostly in connection with luminescence, often bordering on design, Hans’ installations and objects have nonetheless a timeless beauty, magnetic appeal and classic abstract language. And they possess an essential quality that links to the gallery spirit: drawing with light.
Hans Kotter creates smaller size individual works and large-scale installations that employ light and colour in varying methods, which he sets into dialogue with the surrounding space. His objects and installations are not sculptures in the classical sense but room interventions or appliances that enhance the viewer’s perception. The appeal of light and the flow of colours affect the experience of the environment in general and the spatial experience in particular.
Just as in a composed piece of music or film, Kotter guides the spectator through the space by building up moments of tension, changing narratives and by tying us up with colour-changing lights and minimalistic forms such as circles, tunnels and squares that expand into depth or burst into the three-dimensional space pointing into infinity. In turn, Kotter is interested in the possible impacts different spaces have on the appearance of his works.
Kotter’s creations oscillate between technical perfection and natural resemblance, artificiality and painterly appearance, creating an oeuvre that cannot be comfortably categorized. The objects are made of materials such as metal, mirrors, Plexiglas and LED. Amongst his best-known works are the Colour Codes: vertical, coloured light objects, which illuminate in endlessly changing colour combinations and incorporate photographs that Kotter produces by capturing light breaking into prisms within liquid or glass. Or his so-called Tunnels, which integrate LED and double-sided mirrors reflecting shapes and changing colours beyond the wall into endlessness.
Apart from aesthetical alliances, some of Kotter’s installations such as balance, a blue fluorescent line apparently beaming from a gap that is slicing open an architectural space, also Kotter’s conceptions link his work to a long tradition of minimalist light installations since the 1960s and 1970s such as Dan Flavin, as well as the Zero movement with early pioneers such as Otto Piene and Heinz Mack.
Hans Kotter’s work has been exhibited widely throughout Europe and the United States and is included in international collections including the Borusan Collection in Istanbul; Kinetica Museum in London; Targetti Light Art Collection in Florence and MAKK Museum für Angewandte Kunst Cologne among others.
Exhibitions at the gallery:
Point of View, 2017
Kotter Luther Mack, 2013 (group show with Adolf Luther and Heinz Mack)
Light Flow, 2011 (solo show)
Replaced, 2009 (solo show)
Colour Rush, 2008 (solo show)