The exhibition Stop for a Moment Ė Painting as Presence offers an examination of trends in new Nordic painting just now. With 100 works by seven contemporary artists including the Danish Tal R, John KÝrner and Anna Fro Vodder, the exhibition enters into a dialogue with ARKENís great Asger Jorn exhibition. On the walls of ARKENís large Ďart axisí two giant murals will be painted by Tal R, John KÝrner and Jukka Korkeila
Purple and yellow, thick layers of paint, spindly serpentine lines, an intimate scene from a bedroom and poetic landscapes. These are some of the words one can append to the selection of works by contemporary Scandinavian artists shown at ARKEN until late February next year in the exhibition STOP FOR A MOMENT Ė Painting as Presence. The participant artists rank among the most recognised and successful painters on the contemporary Nordic art scene. This applies not least to the Danish Tal R who in October received the Carnegie Art Awardís third prize of SEK 200,000. Besides Tal R the artists are: Marcus Eek (S), Anna Fro Vodder (DK), Jukka Korkeila (SF), John KÝrner (DK), Elina Merenmies (SF) and Tiina Elina Nurminen (SF).
And although each of the seven artists has his or her own artistic idiom, the focal point of the works in the exhibition is the same: Painting as Presence. Understood both as the depositing of the artistsí personal stories in the painting and as their physical traces on the canvas Ė the visible brushstrokes.
The presence is given an extra dimension in two murals that Tal R, John KÝrner and Jukka Korkeila will be painting together on the enormous wall surfaces in ARKENís Art Axis in the days leading up to the opening of the exhibition. In the nature of things the murals will only exist for four months because when the exhibition ends, the artistsí marks will be removed from ARKENís walls. Besides the two murals the seven artists have created around 100 paintings for the exhibition. The paintings are borne by an energy and unceremoniousness issuing from the canvases, grasping the audience. The variation in the brushwork, the sketch-like expression, what at first sight appears chaotic or clumsy and the rapid brushstrokes all give the impression of movement and transformation.
STOP FOR A MOMENT presents examples of painting just now and also enters into a dialogue with the museumís other exhibition, the great Asger Jorn retrospective. Jornís significance to the painters of today is manifest in the artistsí expressive brushwork and the way in which they are concerned with the abstract versus the figurative, the fantastic versus the familiar and with the playful and humorous versus the theoretical.
STOP FOR A MOMENT Ė Painting as Presence is a collaboration between NIFCA (Nordic Institute for Contemporary Art) in Helsinki and ARKEN.
Anna Fro Vodder
House and Sparetime, 2002
Oil on Canvas
180 x 200 cm
Courtesy of Galerie Mikael Andersen, Kopenhagen