Jesper Carlsen

Spatial Ambiguity

13 January – 11 February 2012

Greatly inspired by the experimental work of the Russian Constructivists with elementary forms and abstract idioms, Jesper Carlsen is showing new works that turn the focus on construction rather than composition.

The exploration of surface, line and colour, and especially of spatial ambiguity, recurs in several of the works in the exhibition. Spatial Ambiguity consists of photographic and video works that take their point of departure in among other things Alexander Rodchenko’s text The Line from 1921, in the form of a computer animation. At the same time the artist presents a number of new paper cuts, which use various kinds of three-dimensionality to play with representation. Other paper cuts are directly inspired by the Russian Constructivist Gustav Klutsis’ architectural drawings. This preoccupation with representation and our way of interpreting visual impressions is a recurrent feature of Jesper Carlsen’s artistic activity.

Jesper Carlsen’s inspiration comes primarily from Alexander Rodchenko’s works and texts, which deal with the necessary transition from figuration and composition to the actual construction of art, which was to reflect the new, modern life of the time. In particular, Rodchenko’s descriptions of the line as direction, as dissection and as catalyst in the transformation from surface to space form the basis of this exhibition.

The Constructivists’ problematical relationship with composition and its consequences is a strong focus in the works, which in some cases are reproduced more or less directly. Carlsen attempts to play down subjective representation in order to draw attention to and create a kind of logic around the construction of the work. As a whole the works can be seen as a way of perpetuating some of the ideas that were formulated around 1913-21, when Constructivism was at its strongest; among other ways by shunning the figurative and producing instructions and constructions rather than compositions – a visual language that has inspired many artists later, and in particular Jesper Carlsen’s exhibition Spatial Ambiguity.

This is the artist Jesper Carlsen’s third solo exhibition at Martin Asbæk Gallery since his graduation from the Funen Academy of Art in 2006. At the same time as the exhibition in the gallery he is presenting two video works – Grid Paper, 2010 and Gulls, 2006 – at the exhibition CLAIM in Berlin in the period 7-21 January 2012. In March 2012 Martin Asbæk Gallery is participating in The Armory Show / Nordic Focus in New York, USA, with among other things a series of paper cuts and video works by Jesper Carlsen.