COPENHAGEN.- Galleri Lars Olsen
is presenting the solo show Standing Woman by Swedish artist Martin Thelander.
Thelanders text based works explore the role and status of women in both a historical and contemporary perspective. Taking as a starting point the Danish election campaign of 2011 which led to the nomination of Helle Thorning-Scmidt as the first female Prime Minister of Denmark, Thelander outlines the history of feminism and highlights a number of female figures within Danish art and culture as well as politics and social science, who hold a central position in their respective field. In the series of watercolors, from which the title of the exhibition is taken, Thelander for instance repeats the words STÅENDE KVINDE, Astrid Noack, 1941 as a direct reference to a work by sculptor Astrid Noack, which in 2006 was included in The Canon of Danish Art and Culture.
Thelander peels away the motif in favor of the idea. He makes a statement, whereupon he turns away and leaves it to the viewer to decode the artwork and the images it may trigger. In this way he underlines arts function as a claim or assumption which evokes different associations with the ones that experience it. A function it has had at all time.
The information which is at the root of the works Thelander finds on the internet, i.a. at Wikipedia. From the material making up this digital archive intrinsically a propounding of knowledge currently available Thelander constructs his works. The method may appear nonchalant or matter-of-fact but beneath it all lies a true passion for the subject, a representation of what the artist stands for of his convictions. He may have written himself out of the work not due to lack of dedication, though, but rather because of an inability to trust his own aesthetic capacities. The skills of the artist his fingerprints are, however, still traceable in the slightly clumsy circular arcs and the pointing gestures, which are found in the artworks. Elements that not only point to Thelanders artistic talent and underlines the status of the works as assertions but also undermine the solemn air that often shrouds conceptual art.