PRESENCE & REMNANTS

17.01.-07.03.2015

Nils Stærk is proud to present Jone Kvie’s solo exhibition presence & remnants. The exhibition is the fifth solo presentation of Kvie’s work by Nils Stærk.

Jone Kvie’s sculptures often depict scientific phenomena casted in various materials. The works are enormously seductive, even though the phenomena they depict often confront us with the impermanence of humanity.

As such the sculptures by Kvie articulate the classical contras between culture and nature. At the same time they also point beyond this dichotomy and showcase a deep connection between the human and the universe.

The three bronze sculptures Recall to mind of a long forgotten presence I-III are miniature representations of scientific phenomena such as gas clouds and star fog. They illustrate the human fascination with outer space and our urge and need to visualize the immeasurable and eternal space in an ascertainable way, as a means to obtain control of outer space.

The feeling of control is short lived. Once you really start to contemplate the size or the age of phenomena such as a star cluster, it becomes clear that we as humans don’t have the necessary measuring tools to adequately measure them. In the end the attempt to measure astronomical phenomena exposes the insignificancy of humanity against the universe as well as nature.

Kvie’s sculptures simultaneously invite to overcome the contrast between nature and culture. The works in the exhibition are material metamorphoses, which also predict their own future conversions. Most works can be seen as material translations where a shape or phenomena has been translated into a new material. Through the astronomical references it is as if the works come to illustrate the universe’s eternal ability to recreate matter. Through time immaterial forces become material and vice versa. The universe is constantly in flux and in this constant flow of change both culture as well as nature are continually reshaped. In a universal perspective both culture and nature are material interactions only separated by degree – both are timely.

Jone Kvie is born in Stavanger, Norway in 1971, but lives and works in Malmö, Sweden. He has studied at the art academies in Oslo and Bergen, Norway. His works are represented in public and private collections in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and USA.

ATU XI “LUST”

30.05 - 27.06.2015

Nils Stærk is proud to present a new work by Danish artist Lea Porsager (b. 1981) in the second exhibition space of the gallery: Mellemrummet.

The installation ATU XI “LUST” consists of 11 aligning struts horizontally extended in the room at various heights. Aligning struts are normally used in the construction industry to support vertical elements during the building process. In Porsager’s work the struts seem to expand the room. Porsager has used aligning struts in several other works such as Group Perfection, 2012 and Celestial Body – Disrupted Nerve Fluid and Crossed Shock Waves, 2011. These works are all connected through the common spatial resistance they convey. The title of the work is taken from the English occultist Aleister Crowley’s tarot deck. Only in Aleister’s tarot deck is the 11th card called “LUST”.

Porsager’s practice is based on research on different occult as well as scientific methods, which she combines in order to create her own speculative fabulating systems. Her works form new networks and connections between different theories and ideas in order to shape new possibilities of thinking. From June 5th to August 9th Lea Porsager’s solo exhibition SPIN Φ will be on display at Overgaden, Institute of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen. In November the exhibition travels on to Göttingen Kunstverein, where it will be presented together with older works.

Lea Porsager is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and Städelschule in Frankfurt, from where she graduated in 2010. In 2012 she participated in dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel curated by Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev. In 2014 she received the Carl Nielsen and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Scholarship. She has had solo exhibitions at Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Oslo and Fotografisk Center, Copenhagen.

WAYS OF PERCEPTION

20.03 - 09.05.2015

Nils Stærk is proud to present the exhibition Ways of Perception, the second solo show with Mexican artist and architect Eduardo Terrazas (b. 1936).

The exhibition presents a number of diverse series from different stages of Terrazas’ long artistic production. The works are bound together through the common interest in structure and tactility – themes that seem also to connect Terrazas’ work as an artist and as an architect.

In the main gallery works from two different series are presented: Deconstruction of an image and Cosmos. The three works from the series Deconstruction of an image are panels painted with automotive lacquer giving them a smooth surface. The images themself seem to have been disrupted or deconstructed in the way they have been taken apart and put together anew. The strategy of composing a certain structure only to overcome it with its own means is a lead motif in Terrazas’ work and is put forward in the exhibition from the beginning.

The works from the Cosmos series are images made with coloured yarn. The works apply a technique that has been used for centuries by the indigenous Mexican tribe Huichol. Wooden panels are covered with Campeche wax into which threads of yarn are laid to compose a pattern made by Terrazas. The eight images from the Cosmos series explore the possible variations of a chosen structure, which seem to become indefinite when lines and colours are juxtaposed.

On the wall leading to the second exhibition space a number of drawings from the Constellations series are presented. The works are inspired from the representation of the stars and galaxies of the macrocosm, made by a multiplicity of dots.  In these works on paper it again becomes visible how Terrazas chooses to set certain limits for him self and how he then tests or destabilizes the very same limits.

In the second space two paintings from the series Universe are on display together with drawings from the series Textures. Compared to the other works in the exhibition these works seem more complex with their many layers of paint and patterns and the lack of a clear structure. At the same time the works follow very well Terrazas’ continuous explorations of shapes and surfaces.

Seen together the combination of works in the exhibition showcase a decade long artistic investigation of the force of abstract imagery. The diversity in materials increases the presence of each work and heightens the beholders bodily awareness of concepts such as space, colour, form, and texture.

Terrazas got his breakthrough when he became artistic director for the design of the Program of Olympic Identity for the Olympic games in Mexico City, in 1968. In 1972 he had his first solo exhibition Tablas at the Fine Arts Palace in Mexico City. The following decades Terrazas primarily worked as an architect and it is only within the last years Terrazas has fully dedicated himself to visual art. In 2012 he gathered his visual artworks and edited and published the book: Eduardo Terrazas Possibilities of a Structure, which lead to the rediscovery of his artistic career. Since then he has exhibited at Proyectos Monclova in Mexico City, at the 11th Sharjah Biennale in 2013, and at the inauguration of Jumex Foundation Museum in Mexico City a.o..Currently Terrazas has a solo show at Museo de Arte Carillo Gil in Mexico City, and later this month he will participate in the survey exhibition Latin America in Construction: Architecture 1955-1980 at MoMA, New York.

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.