Ebbe Stub Wittrup Figures of Perception

Martin Asbæk Gallery is proud to present: "Figures of Perception" – a solo exhibition by the Danish artist Ebbe Stub Wittrup. Wittrup’s philosophical and thought-awakening exhibition shows some of his newest works that challenges the human perception of reality.
Photography David Stjernholm

With the series Perception Figures, which is behind the name and theme of the exhibition, Wittup implicates
elements from perception research and thematise our acknowledgement of reality. Partly as a phenomenological and scientific project and partly as an always active question for the beholder, in their encounter with the work.

The work series are based on a sequence of sketches from 1926 by the Danish perception researcher Edgar Rubin, who is mostly famous for his two-faced vase, where you either see two faces or a vase. These sketches that the work is based on, creates an illusion between figure and ground. Wittrup has moulded these illusions into physical plaster objects. He then photographed them as well in a classical light and shadow studio. With subtle grips the works remind us of the often ambivalent relationship between the physical and what our eyes perceive in our daily interaction with objects. Earlier this year Perception Figures were exhibited as part of a comprehensive international solo exhibition of Wittrup’s works at Kunstverein Braunscweig in Germany and in 2015 they were included in the collection at the Danish National Museum of Art.

For Wittrup perception isn’t something that only happens on our retina. It is a complex and dynamic process affected by individual, social, historical and cultural patterns. Psychology, mythological tales and even art history plays a decisive role on how we perceive a given phenomena.

It is expressed in the work series: Repetition of a Word Thirty Three Times that portrays the grasshopper in a double cultural portrait. In the eastern mythology the grasshopper is perceived as an animal that brings happiness, and is connected to prosperity and spiritual attributes. In the Bible on the other hand the grasshopper is viewed more as an ominous pesticide. The work emphasises different views and mythologies and how they reflect and shape the world as it appears to our senses and intellect. The work will be part of a large Danish contemporary exhibition fall 2017 at AROS – Aarhus Art Museum. Are we capable of differing between what is myth and what is reality? What does highly finished aluminium poles for example have to do with a quote from an unknown philosopher? And what does photocopy paper has to do with Jørn Utzons house in Mallorca? Wittrup raises these questions in two other works.

Lastly mentioned works were both created under an artist in residence stay in Jørn Utzons house in Mallorca and shown at Wittrups solo exhibition: Quote From an Unknown Philosopher at Kunsthalle São Paulo i 2016.

Ebbe Stub Wittrup (born 1973, Aarhus, Denmark) lives and works in Copenhagen, DK. He was a professor at Art Academy Jutland since 2012. During 2016 Wittrup had three mentionable solo exhibitions at Kunstverein Braunschweig in Germany, CCA Andraxt at Mallorca and Kunsthalle Sao Paulo in Brazil. AROS art museum and Kirchner Museum in Davos has shown solo exhibitions with Wittrup in 2014 & 13. Furthermore Wittrup has been part of several group exhibitions in both Denmark and abroad. He is represented in several collections here and as well as abroad, amongst other: The Danish National Museum of Art, Collection Munich-Re, Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art Foundation, Vienna, ARoS Museum of Modern Art, Aarhus, Denmark, Falconer Gallery, USA, New Carlsberg Foundation donation for the Danish Cultural Institute, Beijing, China, Statoil Art Collection.