Louisiana Museum of Modern Art wishes to shed new light on Troels Wörsel's work

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Louisiana Museum of Modern Art wishes to shed new light on Troels Wörsel's work
Louisiana on Paper: Troels Wörsel - Painter on Paper. Photo: Kim Hansen / Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.

HUMLEBÆK.- A new exhibition in the series Louisiana on Paper presents the Danish painter Troels Wörsel. When Wörsel died the previous year there were a considerable number of paper works in his studio, most of them never exhibited. With a selection of these, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art wishes to shed new light on this important Danish artist whose work to some extent is still unknown to his fellow countrymen. Wörsel is represented by several paintings in Louisiana’s collection.

Danish painter Troels Wörsel (1950-2018), who would have been 70 this year, lived abroad since 1974, Munich first and then Cologne, and in 2007 represented Denmark at the Venice Biennale. Wörsel was a thoughtful and in his way fastidious person. As an artist, he was naturally affected by what surrounded him, but the social life and life outside the studio, hardly play any role for his pictures. A sign here and the outline of a town plan there – otherwise nothing.

While contemporary art in the period from the 1990s onwards has in many ways reflected on its own activistic, social and participatory/viewer-involving potential, Wörsel did not contribute to such agendas. What we encounter in Wörsel’s works exists in a universe where the rules of art apply. As far as Wörsel was concerned, we can think whatever we like about the works; for him art was simply something other than ‘lived life’.

In the absence of references based on life-experiences, the material is permeated by an insatiable appetite for all the linguistic elements in art. The works constitute a giant laboratory for the things that affect the genesis of a picture. A mystery of a kind, and at the same time an energetic and all-consuming manipulation with the material. A world on a surface, where Wörsel stood unhindered on the shoulders of the old masters cooking with all the ingredients and handling the utensils for the production of art. In precisely this virtuoso expression, one senses the artist’s dialogue with the eras before his own.

It was Wörsel himself who in 1985 pointed to the analogy with gastronomy. The mechanical and physical miracles of cycling also from time to time raise their heads as a possible angle – as an image of the existence of art in its purest form. One cannot describe painting in terms of painting itself according to Wörsel. One must establish a language and a conceptual framework.

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