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Solo show by Swedish artist Martin Thelander on view at Galleri Lars Olsen
Martin Thelander, Standing woman.

COPENHAGEN.- Galleri Lars Olsen is presenting the solo show ’Standing Woman’ by Swedish artist Martin Thelander.

Thelander’s 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 art’s 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 Thelander’s artistic talent and underlines the status of the works as assertions but also undermine the solemn air that often shrouds conceptual art.

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