Since his presence at the HISK, the artist regularly exhibits his sculptures and installations inland and abroad. In 2000, Cotteleer received the Provincial Prize for Sculpture from the Province of Antwerp (BE), in 2002 The The Hague Sculpture Award (NL) and in 2014 the Grand Prize Ernest Albert from the City of Mechelen (BE). In addition to solo exhibitions at De Bond, 2004, Bruges (BE), Self-Service Open-Art Space, 2010, Stuttgart (D), gallery Marion de Cannière, 2014, Antwerp (BE), De Garage, 2016, Mechelen (BE), White House gallery, 2020, Lovenjoel (BE) and others Cotteleer’s work is regularly shown in group exhibitions including Folle, 1999, Studio Ercolani, Bologna(IT), Carte Blanche aan Croxhapox, 2000, C.C. Strombeek (BE), Europa in Beeld / Mythe en Realiteit, 2002, Lange Voorhout, The Hague (NL), Sculpturaal verlangen, 2006, Huis van Winckel, Dendermonde, Vormidable, 2015, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague (NL), (BE), Above Reality, 2015, Garage Rotterdam (NL), Blickachsen 10, 2015, Contemporary Sculpture in Bad Homburg and Frankfurt Rhein Main (DE), Coup de Ville, 2016, Sint-Niklaas (BE), Ecce Homo, 2017, various locations, Antwerp, (BE), Watou2018, (BE), Soft! tactile dialogues, 2019, by MOMU, Maurice Verbaet Art Centre, Antwerp (BE), Liebes Ding, 2020, Museum Morsbroich(D), New Magical Realism, 2020, Minories Gallery, Colchester (UK).
From the start of his artistic career the artist has opted for a thorough investigation of the medium of sculpture. This search results in a layered and coherent oeuvre. However, he does not allow himself to be limited by a static and unchanging visual language, but is always on the lookout for other possibilities and new sources of inspiration. The artist repeatedly uses objects and motifs from the domestic sphere, but also makes use of examples and references to the history of sculpture. A central topic in the artist’s work is the skin of the sculpture. Through the use of a bizarre colour or pattern, the addition of odd material such as hair or resin, and especially through the application of a layer of felt, ground to powder, he lays explicit accents. The velvety texture that is achieved through the application of this technique is appealing and repulsive at the same time. In combination with their stylistic beauty and an attempt at technical perfection, Anton Cotteleer’s sculptures and installations reveal a kind of restrained tension and create an oppressive and perplexing effect. Through fragmented figuration and a remarkable mixture of realism and composition, Cotteleer makes a clear mark and what’s more, he creates a recognisably personal and uniquely expressive universe. Mouldiness, sexual connotations, alienation and dislocation are just a few key concepts in trying to figure out the complex sculptural oeuvre of Anton Cotteleer.