Vilmer Engelbrecht:Below Elbow
Oil, acrylic and charcoal on canvas
43 1/4 x 43 1/4 inches
Vilmer Engelbrecht’s work is preoccupied with time and fragmentation. Below Elbow draws on personal memories, of a photograph of friends, in an exploration of record making. At the centre of the composition two figures look out over the expansive landscape, operating in a liminal space, the artist explores the passing of time through transition of childhood to adulthood.
He views his gestural figures as a vehicle for expression – conveying their own emotional states, but also symbolic of the psychology of the landscape. Taking inspiration from Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog, Below Elbow is evocative of the sublime power of the natural and the simultaneous awe and longing which we feel for it.
The painting blends landscape and figure in a series of hurried, sweeping brushstrokes mirroring and replicating each other’s organic forms. Contrasting earthy tones with cooler blues, the artist creates a fluid composition in which landscape and figure compliment and inform one another. Though the figure remains central to the artist’s practice, his paintings exist at the boundaries between figuration and abstraction. The artist renders an ambiguous landscape where perspective is skewed, allowing an openness through which he seeks to reveal layers of meaning.
Vilmer Engelbrecht’s (b. 2000) practice is preoccupied with time and fragmentation. Using varied techniques, including egg tempera, oil and charcoal, his works on canvas explore the mythology, figuration and psychology of their subjects. Often incorporating autobiographical elements, the artist begins a prolonged process of sketching which he then uses as the basis of his larger scale works. He explores how his subjects inform one another, whether landscape or figure, examining the possibilities of gestural communication at the boundary between abstraction and figuration. The artist is completing a BFA at KMD Bergen, Norway. His work has been exhibited in Germany, Norway and Denmark.