Here are some pictures from the currently running group exhibition at the Van der Plas Gallery in NYC. Happy to be part of this rich and inspiring show with lots of new ideas beyond the notion of conventional art.
Van Der Plas Gallery Cordially Invites You to View “Vor Kunst”
Exhibition Dates: November 23, 2020 – December 3, 2020 Location: Van Der Plas Gallery, 156 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002
(NEW YORK, NY) From November 23rd to December 3rd, Van Der Plas Gallery is pleased to present the works of sixty-eight local and international artists. We have asked artists to submit works inspired by their subjective interpretations of the Hegelian concept of “pre-art”, or “Vor Kunst.” “Pre-art” (Vorkunst), according to Hegel, arises through the direct and primal expression and representation of forms and symbols. Hegel’s account of symbolic art encompasses the art of many different civilizations and shows his considerable understanding of, and appreciation for, non-Western art. In contrast to “art proper” The sphere of “pre-art” comprises art that rests on a relatively abstract conception of spirit” (Hegel’s Aesthetics). We have asked artists to create freely and directly without inhibition through their own unique visual languages. We encourage artists to embrace their own artistic self-expression in relation to the primitive “pre-art” of forms and symbols described by Hegel.
“Vor Kunst” displays sixty-eight different perspectives from a wide range of artists. The show challenges notions of what “proper art” is and how we can break free of these limitations and constraints. The show will look at how we can expand upon and move past ideas of what is deemed proper or acceptable in the art world today. From figurative to abstract, expressionistic to illustrative, this collective body of work shows how these artists have responded intuitively to their interpretations of Pre-Art.
Hoping, speaking out for, and acting for social justice and change is not coming from negativity. Instead, it is the expression of positive thinking that things can be done better and a healthier and more peaceful world is possible.
It is easy to love people when they smell [look] good, but sometimes they slip into the manure of life and smell [look] awful. You must love them just as much when they smell foul.
As we deserve to be not judged by our past, we should not judge others according to the labels they are given. The socio-economic status of people doesn’t tell us much about their human qualities. Try to see people’s soul regardless of social personality appearances. Don’t waste your thoughts on interpreting equipment, façade styles, and fashions. They are not relevant to our true self, and they are gone as fast as they came. We are not our social personalities. Clinging to our social identity and old ways of thinking about ourselves makes us in any case matter less than we deserve. In that sense ‘reality before appearances.’
Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)
Awareness is needed to realign the structures that hold us prisoners of organic existence with the non-structural wholeness of unbound consciousness. We need awareness for living a wholly human life that is inspired by divine consciousness and lived through the practical use of our biological organism. The mind is the intellectual capability that builds on the undifferentiated consciousness that can be understood as a general receptivity triggering potential thought. Awareness is like the hinge between consciousness and thought; it has both the qualities of the divine consciousness and the thoughts it generates. Therefore, human awareness is both the holy spirit of the soul and the self-generated thoughts of the mind that includes ‘thinking about thinking.’ The degree of knowledge about and the way of applying this foundation of human agency is what makes Awareness Intelligence. It is the ability to be aware of and about one’s awareness.
Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)
Many people believe that they would not be complete without a legally bounded better half, that everybody needs somebody to romantically relate to and be taken care of, that one has to be someone’s personified treasure, and that an embodied relationship is the source of all strength. These prince-and-princess fairytales are sweet to promote the continuance of family lines, the stability of societal power structures, and the economy of dependability. The problem is that people are made to believe that without their dependency they would lose a part of themselves. They suffer from the misbelief that they wouldn’t be worthy anymore, or that they would lack the energy that can only be sourced from others from the outside. This is severely compromising self-reliance and self-efficacy, both of which are the key factors for a human being to thrive and fulfill their purpose of life to be and give their true self.
As much as we try, for example in romantic relationships, we can’t fully connect with other creatures on a physical level. We want to unify so much that we sometimes try to become one body; in vain. It is only on a mental level that it is possible to transcend the separating physical forms and plug together into the life that is the soul, respectively the animating spirit of everything and everyone. Only the collective of this life force of the human species persists into the future, long after my and your body will have died. The awareness of this timeless extra-personal relationship with all humanity is what I call the ‘extra-future.’ As part of and as the culmination of Awareness Intelligence, it bears the biggest truth of spirituality.
Excerpts from ‘Awareness Intelligence’ (M. Sager, 2019)
Rueda dance of life (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 80 cm
Do become an attentive and agile dancer who controls the body, cooperates with the mind, and coordinates the congeniality of the souls to dance the socio-temporal dance of life. Every movement is your decision, and harmony comes from being intelligently aware of your, your partners’, and the music’s desire to unfold. When the spirit of the music intuits your individual and collaborative intention to the imagination that the music is just perfectly reflecting the vibes of melted body and soul, Awareness Intelligence has come to play.
Excerpt from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)
Trinity Warrior II, acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm
“Das Symbolische ist die Vorkunst; und das Symbolische hat dahin fortzugehen, daß das geistige frei werde und sich eine Gestalt gebe, daß sein Dasein Nicht auch ein anderes vorstellt, sondern nur das Geistige vorstellt. Das ist das Ziel des Symbolischen”
Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
Van Der Plas Gallery is issuing an open call for artists to exhibit their artwork in our upcoming show entitled ‘ Vor Kunst’. “Art proper, for Hegel, is the sensuous expression or manifestation of a free spirit in a medium (such as metal, stone, or color) that has been deliberately shaped or worked by human beings into the expression of freedom. The sphere of ‘pre-art’ comprises art that falls short of art proper in some way…Compared to genuine art, ‘pre-art’ [or Vor Kunst] rests on a relatively abstract conception of spirit.” ( Hegel’s Aesthetics )
The artworks submitted:
Description of the Work
The current state of common thinking tries to create dualistic balances (win-lose situations), while it would be better to see triadic harmonies instead (collaborative situations). The Trinity Warriors are fighting against the dualistic thinking in this world of paradoxes and promote a trialistic (threefold) worldview. That’s why they are shaped by the Celtic symbols for trinity, the Triskelion and the Triquetra, both of which I rediscovered by researching the history of the European/Swiss region I live in. Are you ready for the next step in thinking: From dualistic to trialistic? As you change how you look at the world, the world you look at will change.
TRINITY WARRIOR II (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm
TRINITY WARRIOR I (M. Sager, 2020). Acrylic on wood panel, 80 x 80 cm
Mathias Sager is born in Zurich in 1975 and grew up in Switzerland. For many years he lived in Tokyo and also in Pune/India. Mathias is passionate about developing human potential, which is an overarching theme throughout all his work that is based on independent research and supported by intuition and art. Through teaching, counseling, and leading individuals and teams around the world, and with a background in education sciences, an EMBA in information and communication technology, as well as an MSc in Psychology, Mathias’ goal is to inspire with interdisciplinary, innovative, and cross-cultural approaches to personal and professional development for individual well-being and the common good alike. For Mathias, psychology and art belong together, why his paintings often appear together with written pieces of psycho-philosophical research and wisdom.
As the inventor of the concept of ‘Awareness Intelligence,’ which is the ability to expand and systematically use one’s thinking in the full scope of time and social relationships in a triadic constellation, I regularly take up the number 3 in my works. My art intends to remain raw, simple, and naively colorful, yet intelligently connecting the dots according to the holistic thinking behind. I invite the viewer of my work to give a second look to get that systematic. What is put into my paintings is (1) self-reflection, (2) love of social connections, and (3) the care for the next generation. It is thought that fuels the painting process, which then generates awareness-intelligent emotions, hopefully for the viewer too. Whenever the creative experience becomes work, I bring it back to fun through disregarding any methodological and technical considerations if needed; the term “play,” from that perspective, would better reflect the nature of my creative process.
A face also seems to me to be in three parts (instead of just left/right, up/down) -> ࿋ wheel of joy. It’s a bit more difficult to recognize, but all the more dynamic/harmonious (as with everything :-)).
Comprehensive awareness is like the capturing of light, which is our soul’s essential yearning. Life wants to reveal itself to us. Even if we close our eyes, some light is shining through the lids. The clouds are not a part of the sky. It’s never completely dark; there is always radiating vividness. To see clearly, wait until the clouds are gone. They are just the changing and passing stories others and we tell ourselves. Look inside, reflect the light, and enlighten your awareness. That’s how you regain orientation and freedom that comes from foresight, providence, and trust.
Compared to the massive investments put into the marketing of consumer goods and the enhancement of our five senses, investments into understanding and developing the human mind to increase well-being and health, stay comparatively modest. It would not only make sense, but it is our responsibility to promote the empowerment of the human mind, to teach how to use the most powerful tool there is, human awareness, as a matter of priority in all societies.
The indefinite power of the human soul and mind can be unlocked as human beings evolve from doing ‘sightseeing’ to ‘thoughtthinking.’ This will intensify the understanding and appreciation of the mental world and propel the development of Awareness Intelligence. No field of science or any advanced forms of artificial intelligence have been able to solve the disconnect between the people that causes all the issues of inner and outer conflict. It’s the power of awareness that has the potential to link separateness together and to unify. It’s time to become more aware of our absence of awareness, the only way to solve the remaining problems of humanity, which are all due to shallow lives lost in thoughtless wandering.
Excerpts from Awareness Intelligence (M. Sager, 2019)
Today’s state of consciousness and social intelligence still seems to rest on the limitation of “me and we.” Aren’t we capable of adding (especially as concerning the future) “all of them” to our social scope?
Humans are social beings equipped with the mental capacity of social intelligence whose ultimate enabler is awareness. What is the scope of most (scientific and popular) definitions of Social Intelligence? Does being socially intelligent deploy intelligence to all social forms and levels of humanity? Social Intelligence as typically understood today is applied to individual, organizational, national, and racial purposes, and usually ends at some of such outer social perimeters that societies, depending on culture, have created and therefore may never really comprise all humanity. There may be endeavors considering humanitarian aspects, but one can be commonly called socially intelligent without being truly inclusive of the full possible social scope. If we indeed risk not to develop a more comprehensive view of the human species, this might have dramatic outcomes. For whom? For everyone.
There is agreement, that intelligence types of the like of Social Intelligence are mostly acquired. In other words, tact, sensibleness, and people smartness typically develop in dependency to experiencing rewards and punishments in specific social settings over time. We never meet whole humanity though and so we assume to have seen all that is relevant for us. Our friends, families, relatives, work organizations, friends, communities, parties, religious institutions, nations, and ethnic groups define our social world view. However, if one wants to be genuinely human with all that humankind has to offer, seeing beyond these narrow organizing social concepts is necessary. Only if we care for all humanity, our happiness will be unlimited. Awareness Intelligence includes the ability to switch with agility between different possible social layers and to see the commonality of all the fights that are fought on any level. Awareness Intelligence goes deeper than a skill set for motivated behavior in a specific situation. Intelligence is a permanently maintained and applied deep attitude that continually re-defines one’s personality. If a foreign soldier kills our mother or father, we find it, correctly, of course, terrible. But what about parental gatekeeping and alienation that leave children growing up without parents too? It takes Awareness Intelligence to see the analogy of the same tragedies just happening on different levels of social identity. In both cases, the reason (a defense mechanism and revenge) and sad consequence (a child growing up without a parent) are the same, but the judgment can change depending on the social scope of awareness. It requires sobriety to recognize any aggression, violence, and war on any level as intolerable and to apply humantime critically to any situation, be it on family, firm, communal, national, and any other (up to a truly humanistic) level.
Excerpts from Awareness Intelligence. Holy, wholly, and wholesomely human (M. Sager, 2019)