30.05 - 18.07.2015

The exhibition presents works by the three artists John M. Armleder (b. 1948 Switzerland), Mark Handforth (b. 1969 Hong Kong) and Sean Landers (b. 1962 USA) who all have distinguished themselves through their individual and eclectic styles. The exhibition contains very different methods of and approaches to both painting and sculpture.

John M. Armleder has through his artistic carrier explored al most all kinds of media. He continuously investigates the boundaries of art production through installation, painting, and performance – a practice that often exceeds the common understanding of art as well as the artist role. In the exhibition three paintings with very different expressions are presented. Two works are from the series Enter At Your Own Risk from 2000, in which stylized splashes of paint are repeated in a tight grid. Compared to the almost minimal style in the works Enter At Your Own Risk 3 and %, the painting Ischia from 2008 looks like a random explosion on canvas. A brownish wax-like substance mixed with glitter runs down the canvas, while different tiny pieces of toys are attached to the canvas. Together the works show a fragment of the huge span in Armleder’s production, in which the role of the artist is continuously questioned. In both type of works the artist as a creating individual can be said to have stepped back, to leave the work to be produced by either accident or a rigid system.

Armleder has had solo exhibitions at museums such as: MoMA, New York, Tate Liverpool, Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Kunsthalle Zürich, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia. Armleder participated in Documenta 8, Kassel and represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 1986.

Mark Handforth creates sculptures and installations in a variety of materials and with very different connotations and references. Handforth often works on a big scale where he transforms items through enlargement, displacement or assemblage. Through these different strategies the transformed objects gain both sculptural values and new meanings parallel to the original. The sculpture “Tilted Shadow” from 2013 is a giant horseshoe leaning against a long yellow steel box. Despite its large size the work posses a visual lightness, which also gives it an apparent fragility, contrasting its actual gravity. In the smaller work Capricorno 2 from 2013, nothing has been enlarged. Here a moped steer has been connected with a cast of a ram horn and a rusted iron pole. On top of it all is placed a bunch of coloured candles gradually melting onto the work and its concrete plinth changing the appearance of the work over time. The work literary melts into the room and ties its different parts and materials as well as their connotations together.

Handforth has had solo exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Dallas Museum of Art, Kunsthaus Zürich, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami and participated in the 2004 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Sean Landers caught the attention of the New York art scene during the 1990’s with his text and video works, in which he confessed his personal insecurities with becoming an artist and his struggles with the art world. Through the 90’s he started to transfer his text based works to canvas and later figurative elements started to show up in between the writings. In his newest work the figurative elements have taken over and in the works where text is still found this is incorporated into the figurative. The work I Lived Once from 2014 shows a collection of birch trees in which fragments of writings have been inscribed. Many of these inscriptions refers to Landers’ previous work and expresses the wish of creating something lasting and his fears of not being able to withstand the test of time. The same theme is visible in the work Brueghel and Archer (Boar) form 2014, where a boar with tartan fur walks through a forest. Next to the boar an arrow stands in the ground and to Landers the whole work shapes an arrow he hope to shoot into the future, where he wishes it to gain a long life.

Landers has had solo exhibitions at Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and Kunsthalle Zürich and participated in group exhibitions at MoMA, New York, The New Museum, New York, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt and Deichtorhallen Hamburg.

IN AND OUT AND IN AND OUT, AGAIN 

20.08. - 17.10.2015

Nils Stærk is proud to present the solo exhibition In and Out and In and Out, Again by American artist Matthew Ronay (b. 1976, Louisville, Kentucky, USA).

In the main space of the gallery a large-scale installation composed of several individual elements is the central feature of the exhibition. On the back wall, Ronay has installed a major composition made up of blue curvilinear shapes resembling a waterfall or a wall of flames. From the bottom of the wall, a carpet painted in an intense hue of azure expands into the room on top of which the other elements of the installation are placed in an orderly row and appear to be headed towards a threshold that disappears into infinite space. These elements are wooden sculptures in various sizes and colors. While one is horizontal, other elements are vertical and emulate the forms of gates, a reference that is not accidental. Every work is meticulously carved and clearly made by hand. Ronay’s work simultaneously refers to parts of the human body, forms found in non-western, ritualistic cultures, and abstraction that is almost non-objective in character. In the second room of the exhibition seven small wooden reliefs are installed as a discreet group. Like the sculptures, the reliefs are characterized by organic forms and highly tactile wooden surfaces.

Ronay’s works are often described as containing elements alluding to mysticism, and spirituality. At the center of these references is the idea of transformation from one state to another, both physical and phenomenological. Ultimately, Ronay’s works function as gateways from one place to another, whether retinal or metaphysical, leaving viewers with associations to things based on their own experience of the world or their owns systems of belief.

Matthew Ronay’s has had solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Lingen, Germany, Kentucky Museum of Art and Craft, USA, University of Louisville, USA, La Conservera, Murcia, Spain, Artpace – Hudson (Show)Room, San Antonio, USA. His work was shown in the Lyon Biennial in 2013 and has been included ingroup exhibitions in important institutions such as Schrin Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, Germany, Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo, Norway, Aros, Århus, Denmark, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, USA and the Withney Biennale in 2004. The current exhibition is Ronay’s fourth solo exhibition with Nils Stærk.

14.11.2015 - 16.01.2016

Nils Stærk presents YOU CAN’T EAT IDENTITY, a solo exhibition by Superflex.

In the main gallery the video installation European Union Mayotte will be shown. The film was shot on the island Anjouan, part of the island country of Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean north of Madagascar. Only 70 kilometres away is the other island Mayotte. Contrary to Anjouan and the rest of the Comoros Mayotte chose to stay affiliated with France when the Comoros became an independent country in 1975. In 2011, Mayotte became a so-called French overseas department, which equalled the island with France’s other departments and regions. In 2014 the EU acknowledged Mayotte as a part of the union making it EU’s outermost region. Therefore there is a dangerous illegal trafficing of people looking to get to Mayotte and thereby France and the EU for various reasons. Many thousands have not survived the few kilometres of travel.

In the film we follow the production of a small fiberglass boat meant for fishing. The boats produced on Anjouan are though often used to sail to Mayotte, a journey which can be dangerous both because of weather conditions and the patrolling coast guard around Mayotte.

Superflex went for the first time to Mayotte in 2014. The French State had commissioned them to produce a work for the local hospital on the isalnd.

In the gallery’s second room 7 paintings are shown. They all bear the same text : YOU CAN’T EAT IDENTITY each based on one of the seven main colors of the Euro notes.

Thematically migration is the main subject of the exhibition. The boat and the horizon also play a part as images of wanderlust and dreams of another life. The exhibition places itself in Superflex’s general practice where the aesthetic product is based upon a very specific socio-economic situation, which at the same time asks some universal questions about dreaming of something else.

Superflex has furthermore made a filmversion about the subject with the title KWASSA KWASSA. It was shown earlier this year as part of Beaufort – Beyond Borders in Belgium. The film is also included in the CPH:DOX 2015 programme and is shortlisted for the competition New:Vision. In 2016 it will be shown at the 6th Marrakech Biennale curated by Reem Fadda and as part of

Cinéma du Réel, International Documentary Film Festival in Paris in March 2016.