John Geldersma at the Arthur Roger Gallery
By Saskia Ozols, NEW ORLEANS ART REVIEW
THE ANCIENT ARCHETYPES of various European, Caribbean, Native American, and African cultures weave together this timeless exhibition of totemic carvings by John Geldersma. With simple wood and paint, the colors of which seem almost inspired by fire, he reaches into an understanding of humanity, the history of its culture, unmistakably modem because of its far reaching universality. Works such as Tres Equis #2, Style Comb, and Blue Stipped Mask refer compositionally to the ancient geometric symbolism of the square, as birthed from the circle. Colored and stained wood, carved, cut, and colored in the forms of crosses, some with further geometric searching that introduces triangle shapes, suggestive of sails, wind, and movement amidst the rigid square cross format. The use of oranges and reds juxtaposed with the cool black and blue stain of the finely shaped wood, offer infinite possibilities for reflection on opposites based on Goethe”s theories of complimentary colors. Works such as Spirit Pole, and Shaman implement some of the same aesthetic philosophies, only the forms reach explosively upward recalling ancient totems of virility and rebirth.