Friday September 22, Hans Alf Gallery invites everyone to join the opening of Anders SCRMN Meisner's project room show "Members Only".
A painting by Anders SCRMN Meisner - before being a garden, a memory or some anecdote - is essentially a flat surface covered with coloured dots arranged in a certain order. In Members Only, a frieze of 12 new oil paintings on raw cotton canvas is accompanied by three ceramic figurines. The new body of work expands on the artist’s signature iconography, developed over the past decade: landscapes, icons, and ornaments. Blending together loose impressions, art historical references and his own memories, SCRMN portrays a personal (re)vision of bygone times.
The title of the exhibition is both a direct reference to the restricted access to nature’s splendour, but also to the many fences within the paintings, flowerbeds, gardens and fields; frames within frames. The titles of the works, on the other hand, directly refer to the narrative. The mostly two-word titles are all made up in advance as themes to inspire the content; to create scenes in response to them.
Diagonals created by the painted dots of light, colours and shades enhance the dynamic asymmetry of the paintings. Variegated patterns of fields, cypresses, rivers, stone fences, and clouds are scattered throughout the paintings, while tiny figures form points of interest: strollin’ on the French boulevards, gardening, dreaming, contemplating, or sunbathing. SCRMN revisits some of the airy, impressionistic, if not metaphysical, traditions of French painting to articulate presence of absence. The flat patches of meticulously coloured ‘dots’ punctuate the compositions and serve as visual anchors. The spaces left empty, however, are equally arresting, leaving room for ideas or strings of hazy memories: “I think of the lemon trees in Sicily, once picked by hand and grown without fear of forest fires,” the artist says. “Smell the small french fishing villages. A sunbather on a flowerbed, flower collectors, cultivated fields and beautiful botanic gardens, secluded and kept by gardeners on small stamp-sized pieces of land surrounded by roads of black heat-absorbing asphalt.”
No matter where you look, the love of French painting stirs. In the ever-picturesque cypress and olive trees of the Mediterranean, reduced to geometric forms, the nostalgia of history merges, moist and heated, between the meticulously dotted and outlined, almond-shaped leaves, green and waxy. SCRMN beautifully translates the irony of untamed nature, ultimately turned into an elusive privilege, tamed, cultivated and hidden behind fences. The thickets of leaves on the cypresses become smaller and smaller, more domestic, but just as decorous. Before flickering into abstraction (again). Fuss: as a Mediterranean wind. Earth coming down from a hill. Leaves from trees. Seasons change. The artist's eye scans each leaf. With the attention of a romantic gardener or a modernist architect. He measures them before he paints them. He records them.
Anders SCRMN Meisner (b. 1981) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. In his twenties, he lived abroad - mainly in Sevilla and Amsterdam - where he toured with a punk band and earned the moniker "SCRMN" for his clamorous vocals. His work has been presented at national and international art fairs and institutions, such as Koldinghus Museum in Denmark, AJG Contemporary in Sevilla, Francis Boeske Projects in Amsterdam and L'inlassable Galerie in both New York and Paris. Members Only marks Anders SCRMN Meisner's seventh solo exhibition with Hans Alf Gallery.
"Members Only" opens September 22 and will be on view through October 14.