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Jacob Dahlstrup - The Big Impossible 2014
Giraffe_2014_charcoal and colored pencil on paper_104 x 120 cm_800.jpg
”Giraffe” 2014, charcoal and colored pencil on paper, 104 x 120 cm
 
Fra grafit til trækul, fra Jesus til Arnold Schwarzenegger og fra dreng til mand. Med udstillingen ”The Big Impossible”, der er første soloudstilling med danske Jacob Dahlstrup i Gallery Poulsen, er overgange, udfordringer og forundring blevet materialiseret i et helt enestående univers.

Titlen ”The Big Impossible” er lånt fra den nordamerikanske stamme The Fox Tribe’s beskrivelse af det at blive en rigtig mand, hvilket aldrig til fulde kan opnås. Men hvad vil det også sige, at være en rigtig mand? Det er blot ét af de mange spørgsmål, som Jacob Dahlstrup fremkalder og sætter til overvejelse i denne altomfavnende udstilling om det mulige og det umulige. Der er med andre ord mange udtryk, fortællinger og teknikker på spil, hvilket kunstnerens egne erkendende ord dog også afspejler: ”Jeg har lavet en gruppeudstilling med mig selv…”

Med letgenkendelige lån fra både kunsthistorien og popkulturen præsenterer Dahlstrup os først og fremmest for en mandefigur, der befinder sig i forskellige komiske som alvorlige situationer. Vi finder blandt andet Darth Vader som Madonna-figur med et hjælpeløst barn i sine arme, Jesus fanget i en farlig hajs store gab og Marlboro-manden med munden fuld af osende smøger. Selvom disse mandspersoner gennem tiderne har fået meget omtale og sendetid, så formår Dahlstrup alligevel at placere dem i endnu usete sammenhænge. Det er forfriskende, originalt og muntert.

Og netop humoren er en væsentlig tematik i Dahlstrups tilgang og udtryk. Med øjnene rettet mod nogle af billedkulturens mest kanoniserede figurer, er det svært ikke at trække på smilebåndet, når f.eks. John Lennon bliver til ”John Lemon”, og når Arnold Schwarzeneggers hjerne viser sig udelukkende at være skabt af poleringsmidlet Autosol i værket ”A Brilliant Shine… Every Time”. Det humoristiske element er hverken frembrusende eller plat. Det er derimod underspillet, ydmygt og elegant leveret af galleriets eneste dansker.

Væbnet med trækul, farvepigment, grafit og blyant har Dahlstrup skabt en udstilling, hvor det imponerende håndværk ikke kan ignoreres. Enkle motiver, sirlige strøg, kontrollerede udviskninger og detaljerige streger er Dahlstrups kendetegn, uanset om han arbejder med trækul eller grafit, med farver eller monokromt. Den pertentlige udførelse og den enkle farvepalet kontrasterer de finurlige motiver, hvilket er et begavet greb, der placerer os i et interessant æstetisk rum mellem leg og seriøsitet.

Jacob Dahlstrup viser os med værker som ”First Hand”, ”Giraffe” og ”Burning Ship” nemlig også øjeblikke, hvor det alvorlige synes mere påtrængende end det muntre. Her vækkes der tanker om liv, død og livets nogle gange absurde og utilregnelige stunder. Det utænkelige bliver tænkeligt, og det umulige bliver muligt, hvilket kan være både godt og skidt afhængigt af det givne scenarie.

Ét er sikkert: Jacob Dahlstrup har i vor optik for længst bestået manddomsprøven med bravur, selvom The Fox Tribe nok ville mene noget andet. I et galleri primært fyldt med amerikanske kunstnere af en helt særlig kaliber kræver det sin mand at muliggøre ”The Big Impossible” – og det er netop, hvad Dahlstrup med stor sikkerhed har bedrevet her i Gallery Poulsen!


Udstillingen The Big Impossible omfatter tolv værker med trækul på papir, tre værker med grafit på papir, en skulptur og et fotogravure tryk.

Jacob Dahlstrup, født 1985 i Denmark, er uddannet fra Glasgow School of Art i 2010. Han bor og arbejder i København og har gennem de senere år udstillet på gallerier og museer i både ud- og indland herunder soloudstillinger på Munch Gallery i New York og Galleri Christoffer Egelund i København. Dahlstrup har desuden bidraget til en lang række gruppeudstillinger senest i Brandts Kunsthal, Galleri Franz Pedersen, Munch Gallery (New York), CCA Kunsthalle (Mallorca, Spanien) og Struts Gallery (New Brunswick, Canada). Hans værker er inkluderet i kunstsamlinger i Danmark, Spanien og USA.
 


From graphite to charcoal, from Jesus to Arnold Schwarzenegger and from boy to man. With the exhibition ”The Big Impossible”, which is Danish artist Jacob Dahlstrup’s first solo show with Gallery Poulsen, transitions, challenges and wonderment are materialized in a unique universe.

The title “The Big Impossible” is borrowed from the North American people known as The Fox Tribe’s description of “being a real man”, which never can be achieved fully. But what does is mean to be a real man? This is just one of the questions that Jacob Dahlstrup asks in this eclectic show about the possible and the impossible. In other words, there are a lot of expressions, stories, and techniques on display – something that the artist’s own perceptive words reflect: “I have made a group show with myself…”

With recognizable loans from both art history and pop culture Dahlstrup presents first and foremost a male figure in various comical yet serious situations. We see Darth Vader in a Madonna pose with a helpless child in his arms, Jesus caught in the dangerous mouth of a big shark and the Marlboro Man with a mouth full of smoky cigarettes. Although these men have gained a lot of publicity and have had endlessly long airtime through the years, Dahlstrup manages to place them in yet unseen contexts. It is refreshing, original and funny.

The humor is a major theme in Dahlstrup’s approach and expression. With eyes on some of the image culture’s most canonized figures, it’s difficult not to smile when for example John Lennon becomes “John Lemon”, and when Arnold Schwarzenegger’s brain appears solely to be made from the polish Autosol in the work “A Brilliant Shine… Every Time”. The humorous element is neither impetuous nor corny. Rather it is understated, humble and elegant delivered by the gallery’s only Dane.

Armed with charcoal, color pigment, graphite and pencil, Dahlstrup has created an exhibition, where impressive craftsmanship cannot be ignored. Simple figurations, neat strokes, controlled erasings and detailed lines characterize Dahlstrup’s work, whether he works with charcoal or graphite, with colors or monochrome. The meticulous procedure and simple color palette contrast the whimsical figurations. It’s a clever move, that leaves us in an interesting aesthetic space between play and seriousness.

With works like “First Hand”, “Giraffe” and “Burning Ship”, Jacob Dahlstrup shows us moments where the serious seems more urgent than the humorous. Thoughts on life, death and reality’s sometimes absurd and unpredictable have been awakened. The unthinkable and the impossible become possible, which can be both good and bad depending on the scenario.

One thing is certain: Jacob Dahlstrup has long ago and very successfully passed the manhood test from our point of view, although The Fox Tribe probably would think otherwise. In a gallery primarily filled with American artists of a very special kind, it requires a real man to enable “The Big Impossible” – and that is exactly what Dahlstrup has done here in Gallery Poulsen!


The show includes twelve pieces of charcoal on paper, three works with graphite on paper, one sculpture, and a photogravure print.

Jacob Dahlstrup, born in 1985 in Denmark, graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2010. He lives and works in Copenhagen and has in recent years exhibited in galleries and museums both in Denmark and abroad including solo shows at Munch Gallery in New York and at Galleri Christoffer Egelund in Copenhagen. Dahlstrup has also contributed to numerous group shows latest at Brandts Art Center, Gallery Franz Pedersen, Munch Gallery (New York), CCA Kunsthalle (Mallorca, Spain), and Struts Gallery (New Brunswick, Canada). His works are included in art collections in Denmark, Spain, and the US.
 

Jacob Dahlstrup (DK)

"The Big Impossible"
14.11 - 20.12
Opening reception Friday November 14th from 5 - 8pm



Gallery Poulsen_logo.jpg


Gallery Poulsen Contemporary Fine Arts 
Flæsketorvet 24, Den hvide Kødby 
1711 København V. 
Tlf. +45 3333 9396
  
www.gallerypoulsen.com
info@gallerypoulsen.com 

Opening hours: Tuesday through Friday 12 - 17.30, Saturday 11 - 15 or by apointment

 

 


Press photos in high res:

First Hand_2014_charcoal and chalk on paper_75 x 64 cm_800.jpg
”First Hand” 2014
Charcoal and chalk on paper, 75 x 64 cm


Bananaboat_2014_charcoal and pigment on paper_148 x 108 cm_800.jpg
”Bananaboat” 2014
Charcoal and pigment on paper, 148 x 108 cm


Reach for the Moon_2014_charcoal on paper_97 x 79 cm_800.jpg
”Reach for the Moon” 2014
Charcoal on paper, 97 x 79 cm






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