Sasha Holzer

Future Greats 2013

By John Stezaker

Sasha Holzer, Untitled, 2011. Courtesy the artist Sasha Holzer, Untitled, 2010. Courtesy the artist

Sasha Holzer’s woodcarvings have been great throughout their 30-year development: his obscurity as an artist, however, has nothing to do with artworld neglect. Holzer has never sought out recognition but has chosen instead to quietly pursue his own self-generating goals in total seclusion from the artworld and the pressures of exhibiting. During this time he has made numerous shallow relief woodcarvings, which have evolved from characteristically gridded ones – resembling sections of a potentially infinite pattern – to more recent ones that have a sense of formal containment and in which images have started to appear. The earlier work arouses disorientating optical sensations and a sense both of a dematerialisation and a heightened sense of wood simultaneously. Their geometric structure has recently relaxed and has begun to suggest the emergence of figurative elements, often with Arcadian associations: wheatsheaves, foliage and nudes all take on a quality of shimmering perceptual ambiguity. With its repetition of more organic and curvaceous grooves, his recent work creates a space contained by the frame rather than cut by it, and his repetitions now seem to generate a reverberative quality in their half-evoked images. Now that he has chosen to exhibit for the first time in three decades, I am sure I will be sharing the experience of Holzer’s future development with a growing public.

Originally published in the March 2013 issue