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Thorgej Steen Hansen investigates abstract-reductive subject matter at Galleri Lars Olsen
Thorgej Steen Hansen, Spot on, nailed, staged & standing - installation view.
COPENHAGEN.- In the exhibition ‘Spot On, Nailed, Staged and Standing’ Thorgej Steen Hansen continues the investigation of an abstract-reductive subject matter, which has been his focus for a while. Based on album covers from his own record collection containing concrete-abstract motifs by such artists as Sol LeWitt, Bauhaus professor Josef Albers and Danish Poul Gernes, Steen Hansen creates a vibrating ‘total arrangement’, which fills out the gallery space like a gigantic sound picture. Manifesting an artistic expression which, due to its repetitive form and interference ‘echoes’ the minimalist compositions characteristic of the records in question, Steen Hansen makes the room ‘swing’ and creates a different resonance.

The exhibition unfolds in the very same course outlined by the title ‘Spot on, Nailed, Staged & Standing’. ’Spot On’ refers to a ’wallpaper’ of dark and light pieces of cardboard filled with circular, black or white stickers. The abstract-concrete pattern of the ’wallpaper’ creates a psychedelic op-art effect, which is further developed in the series ’Nailed’, in which a sequence of framed ‘sticker works’ kept in primary colours are hung on nails. The ‘dot-images’ are here taken one step further allowing Steen-Hansen to let the abstract patterns unfold into motifs inspired by arcade games or Oriental scenarios.

’Staged’ refers to an installation of monitors of different sizes arranged on a stage construction made of plywood in the white. On each monitor a digital stopmotion film is looping. The movies contain references to those form and colour elements which are predominant in the other artistic manifestations of the exhibition.

The sub-project ’Standing’ consists of a long row of so-called ’Rhythm Sticks’ placed against the black-and-white ’wallpaper’. Thirty, more than two meter tall battens have been decorated with crosswise stripes in different colour combinations. The individual combination contains references to the identification colours of heavy rock, punk and reggae respectively, as they appear on album covers and posters. Each colour combination is found in an edition of three. In total ten different combinations will be featured in the exhibition, each one repeated several times. The rhythm sticks are installed in a continuous formation, in such a way that they break each other’s pattern of repetition thus creating a visually rhythmical composition.

Overall the works accentuate a movement – not only in the gallery space, but also in an (art)historical and social sense. Political undertones, avantgarde-’revolutionary’ interplays between the different art forms and the liberation of the creative potential in every human being are central themes in the process that has led to this exhibition. A process in which the regular, abstract-reductive fundamental tone has occasionally rebelled and taken on a more spontaneous and improvised expression.

The project is supported by the The Danish Arts Council Committee for Visual Arts

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