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Martin Erik Andersen: Cultivating the Empty Field. 2019 Martin Erik Andersen: Cultivating the Empty Field. 2019

Until Sep 8, 2019 Cultivating the Empty Field

As a sculptor, Martin Erik Andersen (b. 1964) is concerned with the relationship between space, body and thought. The exhibition Cultivating the Empty Field draws upon a broad register of references to art, cultural history, metaphysics and the stories of the creation mythologies about life and death. In this way, great temporal and geographical distances are associated with an artistic practice characterised by a distinctive beauty that appears simultaneously utopian and sombre. 
 
The use of materials is wilful and highly unorthodox. A monolithic block of polystyrene, reinforcing steel, home knitting, leaf silver, mother-of-pearl glitter, photo collages, mundane brown cardboard and more durable bronze castings – all of these constitute various forms of states that are included both associatively and compositionally in complex and open contexts. The incorporation of sound compositions, interfering laser light and video projections draws our attention to more intangible sensations and the boundaries of cognition. 
 
More specifically, in his exhibition Martin Erik Andersen absorbs and processes aspects of Renaissance scientific and artistic perspective construction, modern camera optics and post-minimalist decorative surface character as determining and culturally determined modes of viewing. This stands in contrast to the ico-
noclasms of Byzantine Christianity, Islam and Judaism, and not least the carpet tradition of Central Asian nomads, which are presented as a completely different perception of art and space than that which has traditionally predominated in the West. Most concretely, it is expressed in the silver-covered drapes which on their reverse sides conceal Islamic and nomadic ornamentation, and which for their part represent an indirect and abstract way to pictorially represent the divine. The paradoxical relationship between visible and invisible, form-generating and form-dissolving, as well as the creative skills of mankind and its historic urge for destruction, run like a leitmotif through the exhibition. In this way, 
Cultivating the Empty Field also contributes perspectives on the pattern formation and layers of meaning included in Martin Erik Andersen’s new decorative work on the forecourt of the museums in Holstebro. 

Martin Erik Andersen (b. 1964) studied at the El Fonuun-Gamila Academy in Cairo (1988-89) and the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen (1985-92), where he was also a professor for many years. Since his debut in 1988, he has exhibited extensively in Denmark and abroad, and he has carried out several major decorative commissions, including in Krystallen at the headquarters of the Nykredit bank on Kalvebod Brygge in Copenhagen, Horsens Kunstmuseum (Horsens Art Museum) and in the department of the Royal Library at the University of Copenhagen, Amager. He is represented in the collections of the National Gallery of Denmark, Horsens Kunstmuseum, ARKEN - Museum of Modern Art, KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, ARoS - Aarhus Art Museum and Holstebro Kunstmuseum, which owns various works by the artist. Since 2001, Martin Erik Andersen has been a member of the artists’ association Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art and has inter alia been awarded the three-year working scholarship of the Danish Arts Foundation, the Carl and Anne Marie Carl-Nielsen Scholarship, the Eckersberg Medal and the Thorvaldsen Medal – Denmark’s highest distinction for a visual artist. 

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The ornamental, artistic surfacing of the museums’ forecourt has been carried out with the kind collaboration of Kaj Bech A/S and Søren Andersen Architects, with generous support from Holstebro Municipality and the Ny Carlsberg Foundation. 
 
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