We proudly welcome the two artists for the dual solo.
PETER RAVN | ARE WE HAPPY NOW?
Peter Ravn is engrossed in the private conversations we have with ourselves when we look into the mirror, do the dishes, or stand under the shower. At the same time disconcerting and humoristic, in the works Ravn interprets the existential questions with a critical eye.
For this exhibition, Ravn intersects his characteristic male subjects - placed in difficult, perplexing scenarios – lying, crawling, falling. A man’s body that is still outfitted as the symbol of civilized, disciplined authority – suit and tie and finely polished shoes – but that has seemingly lost kontrol, more or less voluntarily. In the new paintings for Are We Happy Now?, the male figures perform in concert to highlight that it isn’t just a comment on an individual, psychological case. Therefore, this collection of works point, along with its title, to a form of collective movement or paradigm shift.
The question Ravn asks with his men – Are We Happy Now? – encompasses a critique of culture that is relevant to us all. Ravn’s works take the eternal dilemma of freewill by the nose, showing us the modern human tendancy to fear and long for going off track is keeping us stuck. The theme’s meaning is renewed by the central figure of the man in the fine suit because before the conversation about breakdown of authority and the fall of patriarchy, Ravn’s motives cover another perspective: How powerful men long for breaking out of their roles.
Ravn’s figurative malerier encompass the naturalistic scope and also something unknown and dreamlike. His male figures find themselves often in a kind of between-space – an apparently deserted earthly surface or in a topographic landscape with unidentifiable surroundings. In the backgrounds of these new works, Ravn integrates fragments and lines from landscapce-reminiscent formations and creates a play between nature and a teeming, civilized landscape.
Recently, Peter Ravn has had solo exhibitions in Norway, Italy, Belgium and group exhibitions at museums and exhibitions in Denmark and abroad. He exhibited earlier this year in Copenhagen at Galleri KANT and in the fall he is invited to his first large solo exhibition at the Danish art institution, Munkeruphus.
RAFEL BESTARD | WE THE SOULS
Bestard relates how his view of reality influences his work:
‘Well, there’s no doubt that there is some kind of real world outside our minds, but we know about it only through our experience - an experience that includes not only the direct information we receive through our senses, but also knowledge, memory, fantasy, imagination, dreams…. Conformism limits the experience of the world in every day life, but we can feel that there is something else, and that is just there, in the joints of the armored commonplace that imprisons us.
From my early days I wanted the painting to reveal something: A special world in which the appearance of absurdity gives way in which things are rebelling against the narrow range of meanings which have been embedded in a world that is becoming increasingly complex.
My working procedure begins staging personal encounters, in my studio, with close people. I document these meetings by means of photographs. I use these pictures as references to my paintings, that therefore are the final form of a process based on a photo document based on a performance.
With my subjects I try to display a broad range of evocative powers with the simplest things or gestures. On each one of my paintings something is trying to break through. Embracing communication problems with my beloved ones, references to the world: complex, distorted, with autobiographical interpretations, between feelings of safety and uncertainty, melancholy and hope, resignation and defiance. Emotional tension between affection and detachment is present.