Detlef “Dego” Gotzens has been working with glass and metal, wood, and stone for over 40 years, but it's painting that he keeps coming back to.
Each informs the other of his stained glass and design work seeping into the abstraction of his pictures, the colors and forms evolving out of a lifetime of restoration work in Architectural projects, churches, parliament buildings, and cultural centers.
Having begun his artistic life in a stained glass studio in Cologne, Gotzens studied glass technology and design near Bonn before immigrating to Canada and opening his studio. Since that time, he’s been painting and being heavily involved in restoration projects across the American continent.
This desire to find a common visual language through sculpture, painting and stained glass has preoccupied him all his life, each form creating different spaces to investigate.
His artwork is a free expression, a process driven by intuition. In contrast, his glass work is more calculated, planned, and organized.
This ability to play with different materials, forms, processes gives Gotzens art a freshness, each painting a re-examination, part of a whole, with design and gestural elements dominating his dreamscapes, each picture a step in his ongoing quest to find a lexicon that can be equally applied to a window, sculpture or picture.
"Since a very early age, I was always drawn to images, pictures, forms, lines, and color. I instinctively felt very comfortable looking at art, primarily paintings, with a sense of wonder and curiosity. I’m constantly in the process of finding a visual language that seems to be constantly changing from one work to the next, and every job I do leads me to another place, where I’m wondering again what is behind the next painting or sculpture?
It feels like a never-ending winding track."