TRUST IN MORTALS

Bendix Harms, Igor Moritz, Kristian Touborg, Xavier Robles de Medina
16 SEPTEMBER - 15 OCTOBER 2022
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Through the works of these four distinctive artists, we are reminded of the multitude of experiences that make up the human condition; it is the aggregate contributions of many that make up the whole.

 
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EXHIBITION TEXT

The exhibition explores the complexities of the human experience through the eyes of four meticulous and uniquely different observers; from Harms’ steel-like relationships to his subjects and Moritz’s immersive empathy, to the technical constructs of Robles de Medina’s seemingly emblematic paintings and Touborg’s near-futuristic investigations into the relationship between humankind, nature and technology.

 

Through the works of these four distinctive artists, we are reminded of the multitude of experiences that make up the human condition; it is the aggregate contributions of many that make up the whole.

 

Harms understands his subjects as determiners and decision-makers of both form and content, within a painterly process he labels Contentism. Acting as agent and servant, Harms brings his subjects to a boiling point, letting his right arm work like a machine, equipped with spatulas, scrapers, liquids and paint tubes for squeezing out words and linear elements. We meet the blackcap bird with his concrete-grey body and his unscrewed black monk’s head, Rufus the old black cat and former owner of the farm in Allerup, and Mamon, the worthy successor. To Harms, Contentism feels like a liberation from the traditional expressive brushstroke, as each new painting can start differently: dripped, scratched or thickly speckled, and completed in one or 100 sessions.

 

Moritz’s experimentations with figuration result in compositions which both distort and exaggerate certain formal qualities of portraiture. In emotionally charged, vividly saturated portraits, he depicts everyday loneliness and interpersonal turmoil with sincere sensitivity and empathy. His quiet characters stare at us with sullen or even forlorn gazes, whilst always emitting an underlying sense of a delicate strength.

 

Robles de Medina approaches his exploration of the human condition from the opposite direction. Working from digital images that represents significant moments or events in our shared human history, Robles de Medina’s work is emblematic in its conception and seeks to connect with us in a less visceral way, making us reflect upon the significance of our individual experiences. Through a meticulous, time-consuming process, Robles de Medina transforms these digital images to acrylic on wood paintings, adding a highly personal dimension to the genesis of the works.

 

Touborg’s works are an exploration not just of who we are, but of how we relate to the natural and the technical world that surrounds us. Epitomizing a contemporary dualism, Touborg balances on the axis of a traditional painterly practice and the role of a futurist, imagining archaeological structures from a forthcoming society. Rather than threading the past into the present, each of Touborg’s luminous works seem to thread the present into the past, assembling wide-spanning historical, digital, and personal references.

 

Together, this group of contemporary painters expand our awareness of the facets of human existence, finding new doorways to reality and new openings to the world. A constant flux between the imperceivable, the personal, the intangible and the physical vibrates between their works, reflecting that as humans we are both complex organic machines consisting of chemical processes, electrical signals, and mechanical motions, as well as indefinite, fragile and temporal instances of thoughts and feelings. The complexity of our existence is beyond the understanding of any one individual and can only be understood in the abstract of our collective knowledge – to understand ourselves, we must place our trust in other mortals.

 

WORKS