contemplating modern art
April 11 2008 – May 31 2008
Galleri Nicolai Wallner is happy to present the group exhibition contemplating modern art with Peter Land, David Shrigley, Jonathan Monk, Christoph Ruckhäberle, and Christian Schmidt-Rasmussen. When we perceive the world visually, we are not just passively seeing what is there, we are constantly determining where one object ends and the next one begins. Looking at art is almost a skill, something that is learned through experience. On the other hand some works make themselves visible in a way that can be surprisingly immediate.
In the new series A Stationary Metamorphosis Within a Geometric Figure (pyramid) Jonathan Monk explores notions of spectatorship and object-hood through the juxtaposition of vintage bicycle and a closed geometric figure. Employing the same tongue in cheek approach to art history as several of Monk's other works the piece makes generously use of references to Duchampian imagery and the blank forms of 1960s Minimalism.
Christian Schmidt Rasmussen’s paintings also employ a strong sense of spectatorship. With a keen eye for the inherent surreal and humorous qualities of the post-industrial, suburban part of Copenhagen known as Sydhavnen Schmidt-Rasmussen presents a view that changes between the mundane and the poetic. The fantastic is at the centre of Peter Land’s painting Rød Bro (Red Bridge). Through an opening in the forest a red crossing appears. A vividly coloured netherworld on the other side beckons.
Christoph Ruckhäberle’s work represents a compositional jigsaw puzzle, each element an individually delineated shape filling a gap in the whole: L-shaped knees disjointedly connected to trapeze skirts, and tubular arms and legs unite square bodies - the individual elements locked together without a sense of grounded order. Chaos and dislocation (of the body, society, and language) also occur in works of David Shrigley where they seem to express a fundamental mistrust of the fluency of pictures and transparency of meaning. Nevertheless, the artist is endowed with an exceptional aptitude for producing iconic images and turning our attention to the absurdities of life.
Contemplating art as opposed to viewing it tends to be a solitary experience. We hope you will enjoy the exhibition (though not necessarily alone) and are happy to welcome you in the gallery.
Galleri Nicolai Wallner.