Contemporary – Grunewald, Hurk, Madsen & Robarts
The works of Belgian Manor Grunewald can be seen as investigations of the developments within pictorial universes in our everyday surroundings. The inspiration comes from newspapers, advertisements, books, comic strips and digital media. Grunewald has manipulated the found visual material by copying, enlarging or assembling it into collages, contributing to new visual information that is funda¬mentally free of conscious, controlling processes. Grunewald’s works are in close correspondence with one another and visualize an experimental search for visual content and an interest in optical and visual conformity. The graduation of the colours among blue, green and yellow pastels is similarly affected by the canvas – as well as the transfer and ink-like character of the photocopy – and leaves behind a supporting distortion in the artist’s experimental and often visually irrational approach to art.
The works of Dutch Bas Van den Hurk are composed of traditional and non-traditional elements and point to an interest in assemblage, silk-screen, sculpture, film etc. Although at first glance Hurk’s paintings may seem fragmented as results of an extended exploration of the limits of abstract painting, they also clearly flirt with other concepts and visual directions. A fine example of this is the suit exhibited. Hurk experiments constantly and avoids placing the parts where they are inclined to fit. This indecisive and inconclusive element has the effect that his art is experienced as alive and in dialogue with its time.
Danish artist Jesper Skov Madsen’s (b. 1982) interest in and awareness of the material, as well as reflections on the physical treatment of an available material, are clear in the exhibited works. The character and structure of the formerly so shiny, untouched copper sheets have been changed by the application of intense heat and hammering with various tools. Skov Madsen’s craftsmanlike approach – the colour changes and the transformation from the fine, shiny expression to the raw and beaten – point, as with the other artists in the exhibition, to the fact that art today is a multifaceted phenomenon with plenty of unpredictability.
American Evan Robarts’ black-and-white mop paintings occupy a different formal idiom. The physical, colour-neutral floor-mop paintings, made of plaster and linoleum, point to the artist’s work with a spontaneous flow in soft and gesticulatory movements. Similarly one sees references to traditions of contour drawing and calligraphy – but always with a twist. Robarts’ work with the raw expression (in the contrast between black and white) continues into his manipulated fences where the original screening role no longer exists, but has been replaced by the purpose of observing roles and functions in society.
CONTEMPORARY – GRUNEWALD, HURK, MADSEN & ROBARTS has been created in a collaboration between Martin Asbæk Gallery and the guest curator Jesper Skov Madsen.