Artist

Asmund Havsteen-Mikkelsen (b. 1977, Aeroe, Denmark; lives and works in Copenhagen).

Materials

Exhibition at Galleri Møller Witt, Copenhagen.

Paintings, oil on canvas, various sizes.

Above: installation view; Deserting Desert Land (2019), 146 x 231 cm; Total Work of Art (2019), 140 x 184 cm; Mood Machine (2018).

Description

An exhibition of paintings depicting modernist architecture, including Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye (1929), Gerrit Rietveld’s Schröder House (1924), and Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House (1946–51).

Havsteen-Mikkelsen has said that “Le Corbusier’s practice as an architect, but also a painter and thinker, is inspirational. The image of the Villa Savoye is almost more significant to him than the building itself. It appears in a series of drawings by the artist, and the painting Ghost (2012), which shows the house ‘standing on a meadow at twilight as if it’s a spacecraft landed on Earth’.

[…] From a large archive of architectural imagery, Havsteen-Mikkelsen focuses on those that stay in his memory and makes a mental projection of the painting he wants to make. ‘I tend to take things out of the photographs so my buildings become dysfunctional,’ he explains. ‘They don’t have door handles, for example.’ Although they appear heroic, Havsteen-Mikkelsen is not painting these modern buildings uncritically. Art provides room for ambiguity, unlike the fixed camera lens. And the main job of an artist, he believes, is to think through image. It is a position he attributes to the uncanny photographs of Thomas Demand, cited as a distinct influence.”– Riya Patel, Icon Eye magazine

“Painted in a distinctive expression with compact, intense colour fields, the calm architectural structures without the presence of human figures above all appear as metaphysical spaces; pure pictorial spaces that encourage reflection and contemplation rather than suggesting human action or activity.”– New Carlsburg Foundation

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