I have beaten the lining of the colored sky,
torn it away and in the sack that formed itself,
I have put color and knotted it.
Swim! The free white sea, infinity, lies before you.
Kasimir Malevich, Moscow, 1919
Many artists work with a broad palette and are constantly preoccupied with the colours and their significance in regards to formation and the perception of the work. Others, on the contrary, find it interesting to dwell on other aspects of the work apart from colour. Among other things, this frees the work from color’s symbolism and trims the meaning, condensing elements down to a simpler expression. This trend in visual arts was evident in the twentieth-century modernist movements, from Russian Suprematism to Western Minimalism, as well as by several Abstract Expressionists, including American Ad Reinhardt, who stated: "As an artist I would like to eliminate the symbolic pretty much, for black is interesting not as a color but as a non-color and as the absence of color."
At the exhibition at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, the significance of the absence of colour will also be explored. A shifted focus from colour to surfaces and form is expressed in various ways in Poul Gernes' black and white tic-tac-toe pictures, Yehudit Sasportas’s virtuoso ink drawings and Daniel Richter’s monochrome painting.
Photographic works by Per Bak Jensen, Erik Steffensen and AK Dolven all relate to the inner and outer journey through the landscape. The black-and-white expression makes the structures stand out and calls more attention to the small nuances. This also applies to Per Kirkeby’s and Peter Linde Busk’s respective black and white sculptures, opening up the works’ pronounced materiality.
The increased preoccupation with material is also a hallmark of Eva Schlegel's images on lead, Anna Barriball’s rubbings, Per Inge Bjørlo’s drawing object, Tal R's collages and sculptures and not least Jannis Kounellis's two large object works, which have never been shown in Denmark. In Kounellis’s work, classic Arte Povera elements are seen in the form of humble, unassuming everyday materials such as iron, coal and burlap. The applied raw materials adds the recollection of original function to the works and merges with the viewer's own experience of the materials, and only then does the work find completion.
The Shades of Black on White exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with a specially commissioned poem by Morten Søndergaard.
The vernissage will take place at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard on Friday 9 May from 4-6 p.m. All are welcome!
The exhibition can be seen until 21 June, and will be the last show before the gallery’s summer closing until 11 August. Ivan Andersen's exhibition "Credible Lies", currently in the Gallery's east-facing space, can still be seen until 14 June.