From the outset in 1998 when he finished his studies and began exhibiting, Koerber has been a sculptor with a difference. His distinctiveness…lay chiefly in his choice and juxtaposition of materials and a preference for simple or monolithic structures. Peter Harris
Born in 1978, Brian Koerber is a mid-career artist based in New South Wales. Since graduating from Illawarra Institute of Technology with a Diploma of Fine Arts in 1998, Koerber has been working to establish his place in the Sydney sculpture scene.
Koerber achieved much in the first few years of his career, actively entering prizes and exhibiting at Defiance Gallery, Sydney. The late 1990s saw him collect several prizes and achievements including selection in the 1998 Sculpture by the Sea exhibition, the Waverly Sculpture Prize (1997, 1999), the Waverly Art Prize (1999), and the co-winner of the BHP Steel Sculpture Prize (2002).
During this time, Koerber developed his approach, extending his study of the interplay between textures and patinas. Most of his works seem to blur the lines between organic and industrial forms. His choice of found objects and mixed media nod towards both origins but he is careful not to leave one component out over the other.
In 2004 Koerber delivered a blistering sold out solo show at Defiance Gallery. All 18 works were made in a tight ten week period and are celebrated as amongst his best, evidence that his practice is developing pace and stability.
Koeber’s work is also included in The Maitland Regional Gallery, Jackson Smith Collection and Waverley Council Collection along with many private collections throughout Australia. Brian Koerber is represented by Defiance Gallery, Sydney.
Collect a range of materials with ‘weather beaten’ surfaces. Record the textures of the surfaces using the frottage technique.
Discuss the links in the work to its title - Body Surfer (displayed above and included in this exhibition)
The materials of Body Surfer (displayed above and included in this exhibition) are listed as steel, ceramic, timber and paint. Critique the mix, placement and surface treatment of the materials in the work.
Koerber often treats the surfaces of his works e.g. varnish on wood. Select a range of materials and surface treatments and experiment, record your discoveries in your visual journal.
Discuss this quote about Koerber’s early work: His sculptures could look like unholy bindings of the natural and the “artefactual”. They belonged, it seemed, to a ramshackle world of abandoned farmyards and dilapidated workshops. They looked uncouth. Peter Harris
IMAGES: Portrait: Welcome to Paradise co-winner of the 2002 BHP Steel Sculpture Prize with artist Brian Koerber in foreground. Photo: Lauren Harvey. Brian Koerber Body Surfers 1998. steel, ceramic, timber & paint. 39 x 53 x 42 cm. Gift of Deodent P/L under the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Photo: Clare Lewis