More Reasons to be Cheerful (Mere Formalities)
Richard van der Aa trained as a painter and since then, over a period of 25 years, he has been exploring the possibilities of painting with the firm conviction that a painting is, above all, an object. That is to say: it is not a window onto another world but an object which exists in this one.
With this comprehension of painting, his work has become less about making pictures or compositions and more about exploring the properties of these particular objects called paintings - how they take on meaning and the nature of their relationship with other objects and the space around them.
Considered as an object, the painting is no longer confined to a 2 dimensional surface; it exists in 3 physical dimensions. It is free to be presented on the wall, hanging in space, at rest on the floor or in any number of other spatial situations.
In the sacristy space of Galeria EL, van der Aa presents ‘more reasons to be cheerful’ - a group of objects created with the specific form of the space in mind. The striking divisions of the vaulted ceilings are the departure point for this ensemble. They exist as a physical response to character of the space and as such could be considered to be site specific.
As a group of objects they share a reduced formal vocabulary. They are similar to one another, but they are unique at the same time. As with letters in an alphabet they work together to create meaning. They define each other through their similarity and their difference and although they are individual, they may be understood as one entity.
They help each other make sense. They give each other reason for existing. They are reasons to be cheerful.
Galeria EL - catalogue extract