Mogen Gissel

20.02 – 11.04.2009

When looking at Gissel’s large production through the last two decades it is evident that it is both multifaceted and diverse. Gissel examines and explores painting and its possibilities. The works shift between and blend together recognizable objects and abstract figures using a wide range of materials. Despite this variation there is a strong sense of continuity, not in motives or materials, but in the artistic concept. Gissel himself believes that he has been painting the same picture throughout his whole career.


The canvases are filled with figures and forms which at times hint at recognizable elements. They are not clear figurative forms, but figures that imitate a profile or structures taken from reality. However as soon as these figurative elements are suggested or recognized they are sabotaged. They are not put into a three dimensional space and therefore become abstract figures that blend with the actual non-figurative forms. This way they are liberated from general meaning and become absurd. As the vase becomes reduced to a line it is devaluated as a symbol, while the form that suggests a door stays closed as it is revealed as a painted square. 


As the forms are dissolved, the spatial dimensions in the paintings collapse as well. In the works where a three dimensional space is suggested this space is unclear and the forms stay two dimensional. The forms are not placed in a naturalistic space but can float freely between each other as well as between the areas of unpainted canvas giving the viewer another sense of space. In other works this different spatial sense is achieved not by holes but by objects overlapping, which at the same time constitute and hide the work.


Through this deconstruction of form and space the viewer is left free to interpret the paintings when experiencing them.


Mogens Gissel has had major solo exhibitions at museums such as Århus Kunstmuseum and Odder Museum. He is represented with his own room in the permanent collection of Aros. Gissel has been awarded the lifelong grant by the Danish Arts Foundation.