Friday August 12, Hans Alf Gallery invites everyone to celebrate the opening of two new exhibitions: Anders SCRMN Meisner's "Apricots and Freshwater Pearls" in the main gallery, and Christian Lemmerz' "Krieg" in our project room.
Danish painter Anders SCRMN Meisner has been with the gallery for more than a decade, and "Apricots and Freshwater Pearls" will in fact be his sixth solo exhibition in Holbergsgade. Thus, we find it fitting that for once, we let the artist himself do the talking:
"Apricots and Freshwater Pearls is my most personal show to date. I've painted things from my own life, some from memory and some from extended reality, by which I mean things that may or may not have happened but certainly could happen. There is my wife posing with a paper maché bird that we have in the kitchen, a couple in a bed in a cheap hostel, a nude poet smoking cigarettes on a designer rug, and so on. Situations that exist, albeit maybe just in a haze in my head.
"The images of the show came to me rather quickly and in rapid succession. One after the other. I would be talking to my kid about people diving after pearls in the Indian ocean, and the next day I would bring that idea into the studio and start painting just that. One day, I bought some very pretty apricots and I came home and I saw my wife's pearl earrings and I put them together. That's where the exhibition title comes from.
"I think it's better, if I don't talk about my paintings too much. But to explain my way of thinking, let's take the apricot as an example. I buy it, bring it home, and I start thinking about the apricot. Where it came from, the tree it hung on, who picked it. It's a rabbit hole for me. I dive into the apricot, and I study it. It looks like a butt, it has this extremely beautiful yellow color with orange and red shades. Then I started to investigate the french apricot farmers and how fragile the whole process is. How the world can turn against the apricot if the weather's too wet, too cold or too warm and dry. That of course made me think of climate change but actually more about the fragility of life, and maybe that's why, when the apricot makes it through and ends up in my hand, that it carries all this beauty within it. Of course I have to paint it.
"For this show my love of patterns really shows. It's something I developed a taste for, when I lived in Sevilla, where you're surrounded by patterns everywhere you go. I use them mainly for decorative purposes but also to add a bit of balance, weight and symbolism to the painting. The patterns often contain objects from the images - and set the scene for what is happening in the painting.
"It's the first time I do yellow paintings in a show. I never used yellow much, but I started doing it early on when I was just getting into the show, and it stuck. It's a fragile colour, ready to break at any moment, but it looks so strong when the painting is dry and done. I've generally tried to use a lighter palet, eventhough the paintings often convey a more serious message. I like the contrast between colour scheme and narrative.
"I was watching a tv show about the excavation of an Egyptian tomb, and while they were dusting off the paintings on the walls of the tomb, the archaeologist explained how all the paintings were displaying things from the life of the people, who were buried there. I got a bit obsessed with the idea that the artists of the time were just painting things that were right in front of them almost by instinct. Or maybe not by instinct but as a vocation - as a position in life - a meaningful position. It made me want to submit to my paintings. To allow myself to be less important than whatever I was painting. Almost telling the painting "You are in control, and we will go wherever you want to go". It may sound a bit crazy, but it's a wonderful state of mind to paint in - to simply be a passenger of your own creation."