helvedet opløser sig

April 6 - May 19 2018


helvedet opløser sig. I said. hell is dematerializing. first from its centre, and then out to its limits. away from its middle. away from its seams, and out to its edges. slowly. I see it. and maybe I feel it too. I do. I feel the core melting. and I see it running down. down through its gutters. down in all its holes, in all its cracks and along its boundaries, and in all its fissures. I feel it. maybe I see it too. I do. the image of hell imploding. collapsing in itself, and into reality. I am standing there. in reality. the mass comes towards me. begging. dematerialising. incoherent. and slowly. and creeping. and crawling. like a long apology in a liquid choreography. the steam is burning-red and its fear labyrinth-blue. I smell it. maybe I hear it too. I do. the sound of dripping from an edge towards a bottom. in the folds of my feelings. slowly. and constant. consistent. it floods an hourglass. then it gathers itself. in me. slowly. and starts over.

– Alexander Tovborg


Galleri Nicolai Wallner is pleased to present helvedet opløser sig, a group show of paintings by Theodora Allen, Jankel Alter, Magnus Andersen, Duda Bebek, Kye Christensen-Knowles, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Julien Nguyen.

The artists have been invited by Alexander Tovborg, and represent a group of painters with whom he feels a kinship, and considers his contemporaries.

Alexander Tovborg’s practice explores the allegories and archetypes that run through myths and religion, history and science, oral and written narratives, taking on the ideologies that come from them and placing them within the paradigm of social and political realities. Symbolism and deep- rooted references become central, as their visual language provides both Tovborg and us, the viewer, a means of navigating through the varying storylines and interpretations.

From this, we begin to find the thread that runs through helvedet opløser sig. It is not a question of a shared aesthetic or a communal subject matter, but something that runs deeper. It is a feeling, a physical presence, an urgency, an infallible sense of necessity, a message that needs to be both told and heard.

Each painting is thus a world within itself, opening up to reveal a rich story. The appearance of different elements—a vine, horns, an arrow, a smile, the positioning of a body, the gesture of a hand—guide us, providing context and embedding the work within a history or histories. Together, the exhibition puts forward a call to question and reconsider our mores, to assess our position within the contemporary world, and to give us a moment to pause and think of who we are and what we have become.

carrie emberlyn