In Zero Emotional Content artist Kasper Sonne presents his first solo show at the gallery with painting, sculpture and installation. Canvasses with standardized colors but oddly disfiguring burn patterns hang on the walls, metallic-looking sculptures that seem to have been pummeled pepper the space, and bisecting the room is a dense and heavy chain curtain. How these diverse works interact and how the viewer interacts with them is hard to navigate under the mandate of “zero emotional content” as all works poetically evoke meditations on the human condition.
Sonne works within the parallel practices of creation and destruction. Methodically creating the perfect monochrome painting then setting it on fire, shaping an ideal volume of clay and then attacking it with his body, or installing a sculpture that must be pushed around and moved through to view the show are ways that this is manifest. The paintings employ a sort of constrained spontaneity, a conflagration tamed or a slow burn; the sculptures are beaten up but visually suggest the clay was stronger than the futile fists that punched it; the steel chain wall suggests a hippie-era beaded curtain but pushes hard and cold back up against you as you try to navigate the exhibition. These contradictions multiply into a suggestion of other dichotomies like the organic and geometric, or contrasting cultural references like the masculine and feminine. All works employ the combination of both positive and negative space.
The exhibition also maintains throughout a performativity; the works either suggest or demand a lot of human motion and activity. The charred canvasses vaguely threaten while the beaten up bodies of clay hint again at violence. The smell and cold chill of steel against your skin heavily pushing back at you takes this assault to a more personal and sensual level in this arena of viewer-driven content and ambiguous intent.
Kasper Sonne (b. Denmark, 1974) holds a BA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation. He lives and works in New York. Sonne has exhibited widely at institutions and galleries internationally, including Palais de Tokyo, Paris, SAPS museum, Mexico City, SALTS, Basel, Den Frie - Centre of Contemporary Art, Copenhagen, Primo Piano, Paris, Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen, Seventeen Gallery, London, The Hole, New York and Krinzinger Projekte, Vienna and his work has been featured in magazines such as Artforum, Art In America and Flash Art.
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