WHITE vs. MONOCHROME, curated by Nils Erik Gjerdevik
January 14 – March 5, 2011
Opening Thursday, January 13th, 6 – 8 PM in the presence of the artist
Anne Mosseri-Marlio Galerie is very pleased to present the first exhibit in Switzerland of Lars Christensen’s newest series of paintings and works on paper. They incorporate technical, physical, material challenges and interaction of canvas and acrylic to bind tension, light and contrasts on one plane. White vs. Monochrome is the inaugural presentation of 6 white and 5 monochrome paintings made in 2010. The acrylic filament-like structure reverberates and questions gravity, technique, and tactile restraint. Action painting, minimalism and sculpture have joined forces with color fields and depth in Christensen’s pursuit of a new language based on flat media.
Juxtapositions, contrasts, risks and directness are an integral part of Lars Christensen’s (DK, 1972) creative pursuits. In White vs. Monochrome, the selected paintings present the conflict our sense of sight, our cognitive senses and emotions encounter. Colors appear and appeal differently to each of us, have had different cultural and religious significance and connotations over the centuries, as do shapes and symbols. The added confrontational pressure within one space of equal sized paintings of acerbic bright yellow, gold, green, blue grey and light grey versus the harmony of whites opens a dialogue on color and subtlety.
Painting in a sculptural form comes naturally to the Danish artist who pursued studies in design at Designskolen, Kolding, DK and the College of Arts and Design in Leeds, GB. Interest in art of the early second half of the past century such as the New York School and “Gruppe Zero”, led him to search for the lyrical aspects of painting and color while incorporating structured action. Further investigation in physical properties of acrylic paint and support elements of paper and canvas have fashioned the presentation of the intensity of white and colors and the light space in between. The shaped segment of color applied flat on an otherwise pierced canvas provides a reference point to compare color and light.
The white paintings are not monochrome due to the finely layered mix of color within the strands in the outer edges that frame the work and guide the eye to the brightness at the center of the 150 x 120 cm paintings. Intensity of colors, direction of acrylic strands, shadows and twisting shapes mix the visual signals. Just as zero is a neutral point between positive and negative, the new technique combines landscapes and abstraction to create a new space.
Lars Christensen’s paintings are in The National Danish Art Foundation, Ny Carlsberg Foundation, Copenhagen Cultural Fund, Nykredit Collection, Denmark. He co-curated with Tine Colstrup ”Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks”, Den Frie Udstillingsbygning, Copenhagen, in 2008.
Lars Christensen has received the generous support the Danish Arts Agency for this exhibit