SCENE INBETWEEN

01.02. - 15.03.2014

We are pleased to present the exhibition Scene Inbetween by British artist Richard Hughes. The show will be Hughes’ second at the gallery and will consist of new and recent works.

Richard Hughes works primarily with sculptures and wall based objects. He finds inspiration in ramshackle and desolate urbane environments, such as low cost housing, factories, and industrial grounds. His works at first appear to be recognizable objects such as lampposts, drainpipes, sofas, sleeping bags, brick walls, and sneakers, however they are in fact hyperrealist casts in epoxy resins and plastic.

The sculptures are executed down to the smallest detail, and the resemblance with the objects they imitate results in a feeling of betrayal once you realize that it is not the ‘real’ object. The familiar and recognizable disappears in the realization and the works suddenly appear as strange and somewhat eerie objects in the gallery space.

The element of alienation that the objects possess gives the viewer an opportunity to rethink the imitated objects original function. The casts of two concrete lampposts are positioned in such a way where they assume a similarity to the legs of a walking person. The work, appropriately titled, The Pedestrian mixes Hughes’ clear aesthetic with fantasy and humor. This tactic is generally applied to his practice as a whole.

Hughes takes us to deserted, desolate areas where signs of former life and the people who used to work and live there are in a state of evanescence. However these abandoned materials are now assuming a life of their own. A post apocalyptic landscape reminds us of a recent past where shortsighted, sociopolitical visions have became reality once more. Hughes’ work is a critique of the late 20th and early 21st century’s political situation, forth most in Great Britain but also easily transferrable to Denmark and the social decline seen across much of modern Europe. This critical comment can easily become complex and problematical however Hughes manages to approach the subject adroitly, primarily through his utilization of British humor and political satire.

Richard Hughes (1974, Birmingham, England) lives and works in Herefordshire, England. He studied at Straffordshire University (1992-1995) and Goldsmiths College (2001-2003). Hughes has exhibited at various venues including TATE Britain (London), ICA (London), Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), The 4th Liverpool Biennale (Liverpool), Punta delle Dogana (Venice), Gladstone Gallery (Brussels), Modern Institute (Glasgow) and Anton Kern (New York).

AGAINST MY RUINS

22.03. - 17.05.2014

We are pleased to present Runo Lagomarsino’s show Against My Ruins. The exhibition contains new and recent works placed in the whole gallery space. This will be Lagomarsino’s second solo show at Nils Stærk.

When entering the gallery, one is captured in between two states of light. The work to the right, They watched us for a very long time, consists of a grid of metal plates that embodies the traces of their use as illumination devices. On the opposite side, shining golden sheets cover a hanging wall, Abstracto El Dorado. The absence of the light bulbs that once inhabited the holes in the plates, and the dark traces left by their burning are now somehow illuminated (or maybe made even darker), by the brightness of the golden surface they face. For many years, day after day, these plates stood in the ceiling of the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, shedding light on artefacts brought back from the same sort of excursions that first searched for the El Dorado.

Lagomarsino collects objects and stories from his surroundings and through re-contextualizing he suggests new relations and meanings. He is interested in challenging, unpacking or putting into question discursive and historical mechanisms, representational systems that are traditionally used as tools to convey meaning, truths or political ideologies.

The work Pergamon (A Place in Things) reunites more than a hundred light bulbs and fluorescent tubes but none of them have been chosen by random. They have all illuminated different cultural treasures at The Pergamon Museum. The museum is regarded as one of the most important archaeological museums in the world, with an incredible collection with pieces such as The Pergamon Altar, The Market Gate of Miletus and The Ishtar Gate. These architectural superstructures do not only tell the story of past civilizations but also the story of western world colonization, power relations, desires and in a more current context the repatriation of cultural heritage.

When Lagomarsino appropriates these lights that previously illuminated the Pergamon collection as well as its visitors, he encourages the beholder in the gallery to reflect upon parts of the western civilization’s history. Light in itself contains connotations such as neutrality, purity, science and The Age of Enlightenment (light is even a part of the word). In this work all of these common connotations are being provoked and challenged. Here the fragility of the lamps contrasts with their ability to measure and to scrutinize the other. Through a renegotiation Pergamon (A Place in Things) offers the viewer the possibility of a new understanding of, not only the Pergamon collection but of all collections in cultural and archaeological museums in the world.

The work Abstracto El Dorado refers to the German-Mexican artist Mathias Goeritz’s work Abstracto En Dorado (1968). It focuses primarily on the colonization of Latin America and the myth of El Dorado, a utopic country in South America covered in gold and gems. The Spanish Conquistadores were motivated by this myth to do further exploration and conquests on the continent.

The action filmed in More delicate than the historians are the map maker’s colours contributes to a more nuanced understanding of the complex matter of colonization and post-colonization. In a gesture at once pathetic and glorious Lagomarsino and his father throw a dozen of eggs at a Columbus monument in Seville. The eggs had been transported illegally from South America to Spain. As in previous pieces such as Trans Atlantic and Crucero del Norte, this work not only speaks about travelling, exile, and geopolitics but also incorporates them in its own materiality and its own construction.

Runo Lagomarsino (1977, Lund, Sverige) lives and works in Malmö, Sweden, and São Paulo, Brazil. He holds a MFA from Malmö Art Academy (2003) and participated in the Whitney Independent Study Program, New York (2007-2008).

Lagomarsino has participated in several international exhibitions such as: For No Apparent Reason, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid (2013), the 30th São Paulo Biennal and the Liverpool Biennal (both in 2012), the 12th Istanbul Biennial and the Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale (both 2011). Recent solo shows include: We have everything, but that’s all we have, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, This Thing called the state, Oslo Kunstförening, Oslo, For Each Light a Shadow, Ignacio Liprandi, Buenos Aires (all in 2013)

TOVE STORCH

28.08. – 18.10.2014

PREVIEW 27.08.2014  17:00 – 20:00

9 pages

Rusted metal, silk with imprint

200 x 90 x 56 cm

16 pages

Rusted metal

200 x 90 x 82,5 cm

6 pages

Rusted metal, silk with imprint

200 x 90 x 41 cm

11 pages

Rusted metal, silk with imprint

200 x 90 x 65 cm

Untitled 1

Rusted metal, silk with imprint

6 x 250 x 135 cm

Untitled 2

Rusted metal, silk with imprint

6 x 250 x 135 cm

Untitled 3

Rusted metal, silk with imprint

6 x 250 x 135 cm

Tove Storch’s second exhibition at the gallery consists of 7 new works in rusted metal and silk. Pigment is transferred from one material to another creating imprints and spatial repetitions. Objects and materials are held in a tense almost vibrating composition between walls, floor and ceiling.

PAINTER'S NEST

23.05. - 12.07.2014

We are delighted to announce the exhibition Painter’s Nest by Michael Kvium. The show consists of all new paintings and it is Kvium’s second solo exhibition with the gallery.

Staging is essential to the art of Michael Kvium. This approach has been employed and refined in different expressions such as performances, video installations, paintings, and sculptures and the performative aspect is a recurrent artifice throughout his entire career.

The staging and the performativity are once more the focal points in the exhibition Painter’s Nest. The characters, or rather the performers, in the paintings depict different representations of a painter. The role of the artist is examined in various stagings and often the representation of the artist appears to reflect the beholder’s own imagination of an artist. This matter develops in different attributes of the portrayed painters – features that all relate to the metier of a painter: a brush, a tube of paint, a painting cloth etc.

In his artistic practice, Kvium consciously engages with themes and genres from the history of art. This time, the investigation of the artist’s studio (or nest) is central – a well-known genre brought up by many artists such as Rembrandt, Diego Velázquez, Jan Vermeer, and Gustave Courbet. In contrast to his predecessors, Kvium is not depicting an idealized and romantic image of an artist but rather he is interested in a humanized painter.

The show reveals what hides under the make-up, behind the mask and the scene. And this is not always pretty! The paintings present unhealthy, grotesque, and deformed bodies that most of all resembles simple flesh. Painter’s Nest uncovers to the audience an exposed painter in his studio.

Michael Kvium (1955) lives and works in Denmark and Spain.

UNIONS AND INTERSECTIONS

01.11.2014 - 20.12.2014

Nils Stærk is pleased to present Guatemalan artist Darío Escobar’s (b. 1971) first solo exhibition in Scandinavia. The exhibition will consist of new and recent sculptural works.

The title of the exhibition Unions and Intersections underlines a general theme in Escobar’s work. The chosen objects, which make up Escobar’s sculptures become markers and signs of both unions and intersections through the way they are arranged and their conversion into art.

Most of the works presented in the exhibition are sculptures made partially or entirely out of sporting goods such as footballs, basketballs, or billiard cues. Sports have been a recurring theme in Escobar’s work in recent years. However, one is not looking at the work of a sports-obsessed artist; someone who cannot get enough of the life-affirming thrills sports can offer. For Escobar these sporting effects are, to a much larger degree, signs of multinational brands and movements, which in the last decades have swept across the world and made any distinction between the local and the global impossible.

To Escobar sports and the culture that surrounds it is inseparable from a worldwide consumerism that offers itself as a ticket to an international community if one is prepared to pay the price. By using effects from this culture Escobar calls attention to this particular situation, though without pointing fingers at sports fans. His work is also not to be understood as a sarcastic comment on the global art world or art market because of its ability to absorb such commercial elements. The works are a sincere investigation of complex power structures, including the relationship between art and consumerism.

Darío Escobar lives and works in Guatemala City. He has been included in numerous solo and group exhibitions, among them, Gold, Bass Museum of Art, Miami, and Fútbol: The Beautiful Game, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (all 2014); Confusion in the Vault, Museo Jumex, México D.F. (2013); 2013 California-Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California; Darío Escobar/La experiencia del objeto, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Santiago, Santiago, Chile, Singular/Plural,  SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia, and The Island: A Game of Life, Gallery One, Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (all 2012); Los impolíticos, Palazzo delle Arti Napoli, Naples, Italy, Périfériks, Centre d’art Neuchâtel, Neuchâtel, Switzerland, and Mundus Novus, 53 Biennale di Venezia, Venice (all 2009); and Poetics of the Handmade, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2007). Escobar’s monograph A Singular Plurality: The Works of Darío Escobar was published by Harvard University Press in 2013.