Martin Asbæk Gallery is proud to present the group exhibition Contemporary – Grunewald, Hurk, Madsen & Robarts. The exhibition shows selected works by the artists Manor Grunewald (b. 1985), Bas van den Hurk (b. 1965), Jesper Skov Madsen (b. 1982) and Evan Robarts (b. 1982).
The works of Belgian Manor Grunewald can be seen as investigations of the developments within pictorial universes in our everyday surroundings. The inspi¬¬ration comes from newspapers, advertisements, books, comic strips and digital media. Grune¬wald has manipulated the found visual material by copy¬ing, enlarging or assembling it into collages, contributing to new visual infor¬mation that is funda¬mentally free of conscious, controlling processes. Grune¬wald’s works are in close correspondence with one another and visualize an experimental search for visual con¬tent and an interest in optical and visu¬al con¬formity. 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-tradi¬tional elements and point to an interest in assemblage, silk-screen, sculp¬ture, 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 expe¬ri¬ments constantly and avoids placing the parts where they are inclined to fit. This in¬de¬cisive 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 ges¬ti¬culatory move¬ments. Similarly one sees references to traditions of con¬tour 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.