group show

Blumen / Flowers / Blomster

24.05 – 12.07.2013

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Christian Achenbach, Nobuyoshi Araki, Maxime Ballesteros, Lars Bjerre, Fritz Bornstück, Uwe Boschen, Eva Steen Christensen, Jesper Christiansen, Paula Doepfner, Erik A. Frandsen, Philip Grözinger, Julius Hofmann, Søren Jensen, Robert Lucander, Karin Lorentzen, Luzia Simons, Lucy Teasdale, Aiko Tezuka, Elisabeth Toubro, Elmar Vestner, Kathrine Ærtebjerg

 

 

The motif of flowers is not a motif that is usually associated with contemporary art. In fact, in relation to art today, flowers are generally seen as being both a safe and a trivial theme. The FLOWERS exhibition puts these preconceptions to the test. In the exhibition, a number of international artists show that flowers can still be an interesting and pertinent motif – a motif which affords a considerably wide scope for relevance and meaning.

The diverse motifs of the flower appear in different forms and leaves behind the religious meaning. The baroque still-life paintings featuring flowers were tremendously expensive and exuded both wealth and power – in a decidedly sophisticated and sensual way. The sensual element continues to pervade today’s contemporary flower pictures, evoking an awareness of the vainness of sensuality. The flower motif in art is still inextricably associated with a reminder of the ephemeral nature of all things. But unlike in baroque art, the element of moral finger pointing is absent in contemporary art. Today, ephemerality is more understood as an on-going transformation.

 

The works exhibited use a wide range of methods and techniques, and as a result, the scope of different themes and meanings is extensive. The exhibited ice cube by Paula Doepfner melts during the exhibition, exposing a frozen flower and causing structures of rust on the underlying metal basin. Sculptural works by Eva Steen Christensen and Søren Jensen reinterpret everyday objects like a carpet or a lamp to floral landscapes. In the collages by Danish artist Kathrine Ærtebjerg, the female body is accentuated as a symbol of fertility. A ‘scanogram’ from Brazilian artist Luzia Simons’ Stockage series shows large scale tulips indicating not only beauty but also the aspects of venture and economic collapse. Floral paintings by Erik A. Frandsen, Robert Lucander or Christian Achenbach are shown in their own expressive form.

 

Because of its alluring and apparently superficial beauty, the motif of flowers is one that entices artists to use it in every way possible. It is a motif that willingly allows itself to be both used and exposed. And it is precisely for these reasons that the flower motif remains a thoroughly interesting subject for contemporary art today.