Instituto Cultural Cabañas in Guadalajara presents the Danish-Norwegian artist Nils Erik Gjerdevik's first major exhibition in Mexico.
In 2016, Gjerdevik worked closely with museum personnel to create a proposal for an exhibition that would cover the various disciplines of his artistic practice from ceramics to painting and work on paper. The exhibition has become a presentation of Gjerdevik's non-figurative idiom with elements of an expressive wildness, a myriad of details and a graphic colorful expression in pastel shades and pure bright bloc colors with black outlines.
Challenged by the set of rules and conventions of painting as a genre, Gjerdevik's work through time has confronted the idea of how painting should be presented by using particular formats, alternative colors and compositions rarely incorporated into the classic notion of harmony. With extreme awareness, Gjerdevik's artworks unfold in a constant dialogue with art history, sampling the linear structures of constructivism, the grid formations of minimal art, the arabesques of art nouveau and the strong block colors of pop art.
Gjerdevik's artworks in different media are clearly interconnected in their compositional forms and motifs. Their spontaneity is subject to a formal system that expands between the playful and controlled, whether looking at the paintings, works on paper or ceramic sculptures. That being said, the drawings appear more stringently organized and well balanced at first sight. But as one gets closer, the frame works as a unifying element where the drawings strive to escape these boundaries. The controlled is battling the uncontrollable in a perpetual oscillation and leaves the empty white areas as noisy fields waiting to be explored.
The ceramic sculptures in the exhibition are all embedded in an artisan tradition and inspired by European architecture from the beginning of the 20th century. The glazed ceramics are simultaneously full of narrative of futuristic elements or urban landscapes and purely abstract with irregular forms and follow no specific logic or method - just their own unique construction.
Throughout the exhibition, we experience how color, shape and space can be explored in eternal constellations and driven to elicit new effects. While we lose ourselves in playful view of the work, we become simultaneously aware of the gravity in the decadence and the assimilation of art history references. We sense the line that runs from one work to another like an echo that reverberates throughout the works - an echo that has sounded through the past decades and been characterized by an ongoing investigation of the potential of abstract art.