Born in Brussels, Belgium, 1966
The work of Dubai-based Belgian sculptor Arnaud Rivieren, who has been based in Dubai since 2002, seeks to redefine the human relationship between industrial waste and contemporary sculpture. Through collecting discarded scrap heaps and used metal fragments recovered in Dubai’s dense industrial areas.
Rivieren transforms raw materials, such as tubular steel, iron beams and barrels through rigorous steel crafting techniques to produce large-scale outdoor sculptures. These structures contradict the solid and rigid function of the initial object and reveal a completely new shape, form and purpose for what was once deemed as disposable and forgotten. This means of creative recycling by finding leftover or disused materials is the premise of his environmentally conscious practice, sustained by the influx of construction that has come to define Dubai’s skyline.
Taking cues from renowned Italian sculptor Bruno Romeda, Rivieren is entranced by the creative possibilities of found materials that he regularly scavenges through the steelyards of the UAE in search for new material. He then painstakingly works these steel pieces – that have already served practical purposes – through a lengthy transformation, giving them new life in the process and ultimately reforming them into large-scale outdoor abstract sculptures, or pares the forms of natural elements such as rocks, pebbles, trees or eggs.
Bending and twisting steel into strange shapes, the artist has been described as “a scientist of spatial subterfuge, a doctor of dynamics, [and] the crown prince of the circle” in the press.
Arnaud Rivieren exhibited in solo and group exhibition at B21 Gallery (2006 and 2008), Dubai; Gallery Leila Heller (2009), New York, LKFF (2011), Brussels and La Galerie Nationale (2014 and 2017). In 2012, his installation Paper Plane was presented in the heart of Brussels and at Parc Egmont as part of Art Brussels’s Art in the City programme. His works were exhibited in the Belgian Pavilion during Shanghai World Expo in 2010 and he has participated in the first two editions of Bastakiya Art fair (now Sikka Art Fair). He has participated in two group shows at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, White Cube...Literally curated by Amanda Abu Khalil in 2016 and Good Printing curated by Yasmina Reggad in 2017. Collections and public acquisitions: TDIC Culture (UAE) , Masdar (UAE), Fondation Herpain (Brussels) , Randolf Hearst Collection (USA)
He lives and works in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.