Philip Grözinger

Why are you so odd?

10.08 – 22.09.2012


Philip Grözinger’s paintings depict strange and dark places. The landscapes depicted seem both familiar and unfamiliar at the same time. It is exactly this mix of the recognizable and unknown that gives the paintings their uncanny atmosphere.


The landscapes are dark and barren and remind one of unknown planets with strange inhabitants. At the same time Grözinger’s paintings use elements from classical landscape painting. In many works the figures are placed nearby a lake or a lake is visible in the distant horizon.


To the Danish eye this combination of landscape and water easily connect Grözinger’s paintings to those of the Danish Golden Age in the 19th century.These landscapes also often seem to have water in them, as if the landscape is not complete without a bit of lake or sea. But where the paintings of the Danish Golden Age depict landscapes in bright and golden sunlight Grözinger’s paintings are dark and cold. Where the lakes and streams in the paintings of the Golden Age seem to offer themselves as quiet romantic places for contemplation the lakes in Grözinger’s paintings possess a very different charm.


The dark calm waters excite one’s curiosity because of the unknown that might hide under the surface. The same dark calm waters also frighten one - exactly because they trigger one’s curiosity and imagination which blind you to the dangers of the unknown hidden in the depths under that dark surface.


The figures and creatures of Grözinger’s images are unlike the lakes and waters more comical than directly frightening or dangerous. Drawing on popular imaginations of aliens, ghosts and monsters the figures come across as clumsy animals. They interact with each others in weird games or pose together, but without clear meaning.


It is hard to tell if there is a fit reaction or reading of Grözinger’s paintings. Chilling and humorous at the same time as well as both cool and kitschy the works split themselves and leave the beholder unsure of how to respond to these images.

Photo credits: Jan Søndergaard