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Galerie Michael Janssen in Berlin opens group exhibition titled Unknown (Paintings)

Anders Kjellesvik, Looking at art 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 100 x 140 cm / 39,4 x 55 in. Courtesy Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin.

BERLIN.- Galerie Michael Janssen announces Unknown (Paintings). On view are works by Emil Holmer, Anders Kjellesvik, Peter Linde Busk, Christof Mascher and Aaron Spangler.

The works on view have a common notion of imaginary landscapes. They share the space of inner and outer worlds and reveal that something familiar can also be foreign. Autonomous narratives expose personal myths while at the same time something mysterious seems to be covered under the layers of paint. Distinct painterly gestures disclose uncertainty and convey something unresolved, conducting us simultaneously toward the inscrutable and the unexplainably familiar.

Peter Linde Busk (*1973) constructs universes with manic, enthusiastic brush strokes that combine strong colors and awkward shapes and make reference to several traditions of painting. His personal performance and fear of failure also plays a central role in his work. Fascinated by the deviant and the marginalized, he often relates to anti-heroes or tragic figures such as jesters or minstrels and fictional characters like Roskolnikov from Dostoyesvsky’s Crime and Punishment and Don Quixote.

Emil Holmer (*1975) mixes traditional media like charcoal and oil with spray paint, scraps and found materials. By playing with a ready-made language and graffiti style he articulates an artistic rhetoric that is both subjective and impartial. Austere comics-like forms meet total abstraction. Shapes are assembled over and against each other making the surfaces dense and multi-layered. Symbols and narrative elements overlap creating new visual perceptions and multiple readings.

Christof Mascher (*1979) creates worlds in which utopian notions are fused with apocalyptic visions revealing contradictions and unexpected interruptions. Influenced by both high and mass culture, his visual language follows its own iconography in which scenarios out of adventure games from the late 1980’s are just as meaningful as works by Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Brueghel or Edvard Munch.

Anders Kjellesvik (*1980) is a painter who also works with sculpture, social art and performance. Born on an island in Norway, he has been influenced by boat builders and fishermen and is possessed by a strong wanderlust. His artistic practice is based on travels and expeditions, both self-experienced and imaginary, that create the point of departure and subject matter for his work. Materials and motives collected during journeys are later replaced by painterly visions and create autonomous scenic narratives.

Aaron Spangler (*1971) works mostly three-dimensionally in bas-relief carved from solid blocks of basswood. In his new pieces he uses the technique of frottage made with hard wax crayon on muslin. Abstract forms and lines share space with representational imaginary in a way where neither carries more weight than the other. The composition of accumulated shapes and figures refers to relicts and talismans from American mythology and evoke a timeless world.

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