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Peter Ravn - He Chose The Wrong Career

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Pressemeddelelse:

Peter Ravn kalder sin nye udstilling HE CHOSE THE WRONG CAREER. Udskift ’career’ med ’wife’, ’education’ eller blot ’road’, og pointen står klart, som i en opdateret version af den amerikanske digter Robert Frosts berømte The Road Not Taken fra 1920. Det handler om modet til at konfrontere og være i tvivlen, men som altid i Ravns univers løber en understrøm af humor igennem de ofte groteske motiver, så man ikke ved, om man skal le eller græde.

“Mine værker handler om relationer, om hierarkier, magtstrukturer og forholdet mellem individet, autoriteterne og samfundets normer. Om den løbende samtale, de fleste mennesker har med sig selv om disse forhold livet igennem. Ingen hører denne tavse samtale, idet den finder sted inde i os selv. For at nærme mig dette, eliminerer jeg stort set traditionelle ydre rammer og rum, ligesom jeg prøver at undgå alt for snævre identitetsmarkører hos mine figurer.
Jeg er optaget af den menneskelige evne, eller skal vi kalde det tilbøjelighed, til at efterrationalisere og give vores ofte temmeligt tilfældige livsvalg en dybere mening. Tvivl og fortrydelse i et voksent og værdigt menneskes liv er næsten tabueret – at standse op og se den slags i øjnene kræver mod og medfører omkostninger. Omvendt gnaver tvivlen om tvivlen inde bag ved hvis man fortsætter som om intet er hændt, og ofte ender denne kurs med en regning af en helt anden størrelse. Det gælder i individets psykologi og eksistentielle søgen, men også i den vestlige tænkning og i vores strømlinede samfund, hvor vi sjældent præsenteres for alternativer til det konforme.”

Mændene i Ravns malerier er fanget i deres positurer, ofte iført et anonymiserende jakkesæt. De resignerer, er handlingslammede, kravler væk, er fanget i nogle spektakulære og urovækkende, svært afkodelige iscenesættelser – som når en mand med blankpudsede sko og et sammenbidt drag om munden trækker en anden mand afsted ved munden. I Ravns gråtonede palet fortolkes således en kollektiv identitetskrise med smerte og et stænk humor – som går igen i titlen, hvor der anes en kommentar til manden, der med det yderste af neglene forsøger at holde fast i et selvbillede under kraftig forandring.

Figurerne kan virke som en slags tomme repræsentationer, da de er frataget tidstypiske markører og oftest optræder i den vestlige verdens anonymiserende klædedragt, jakkesættet. Omvendt er ansigtstrækkene karakteristiske, og flere af mændene går igen i forskellige serier, så det bliver tydeligt, at Ravn arbejder med et korps af maskuline repræsentationer, som beskueren kan spejle sig selv og sine ideer i. Man efterlades dybt berørt, ofte ubehageligt til mode, men overladt til at drage sine egne konklusioner og med en foruroligende fornemmelse af, at disse siger mere om én selv end om værket!

Peter Ravn havde sidste år en soloudstilling i Rom i galleri Z2O/Sara Zanin, som også repæsenterede ham på ArteFiera, Italiens vigtigste kunstmesse, i Bologna i foråret. Ravn er i år blevet inviteret til at deltage på den nystartede biennale i Brescia i Norditalien, som løber fra start september til slut november i år. Herudover deltog han i Emergency Room i Wroclav, Polen i september.
 

Press release:

We are proud to present a new solo exhibition by the Danish painter Peter Ravn at Gallery Poulsen in Kødbyen, Copenhagen.

Peter Ravn has named his new exhibition HE CHOSE THE WRONG CAREER. Exchange the word ‘career’ with ‘wife’, ‘education’ or just ‘road’, and the point becomes clear, as it would in an updated version of the American poet Robert Frost’s famous The Road Not Taken from 1920.

It’s about the courage to confront and exist in the doubt, but as always in Ravn’s universe, an undercurrent of humour runs through the often grotesque motifs, so that you hardly know whether to laugh or to cry.

“My work is about the basic existential conditions of relations, interactions and the relationship between the individual and authorities and the norms of society. About the conversation a person has with him or herself throughout life. Nobody hears this silent conversation because it takes place within us. To get closer to this, I eliminate the exterior just as ‎I try to avoid contemporary identity markers in my figures.

I am preoccupied with the human ability, or should we call it disposition, to rationalise after the event and attribute a deeper meaning to our often rather arbitrary life choices. Doubt and regret in a grown and dignified person’s life is almost taboo, to stop and confront this takes courage and has consequences. On the other hand, doubt about the doubt is gnawing in the background if you continue as if nothing had happened, and often this course of action comes at a great price. This conundrum is present in the psychology of the individual and its existential search, but also in the western way of thinking, and in our streamlined societies where we are rarely presented with alternatives to conformity.”

The men in Ravn’s paintings are caught up in their postures, often wearing a depersonalising suit. They resign, they are paralysed, they crawl away, are caught in some spectacular and disquieting, not easily decoded settings, as the one where a man in freshly shined shoes and clenched teeth pulls another man away by his mouth. In Ravn’s grey toned palette, the collective identity crisis is interpreted with pain and a dash of humour, which is again reflected in the title, in which you note a comment to the man, who is desperately clinging to a hastily changing self-image.

The figures can seem like empty representations, because they are stripped of contemporary identity markers and usually appear in the western world’s anonymous attire, the suit. In contrast, their features are characteristic and some of the men appear in several series, which shows that Ravn works with a corps of masculine representations, in which the beholder can reflect himself and his ideas. You are rendered deeply moved, often in an unpleasant way, but also left to draw your own conclusions and with a disturbing feeling that these tell more about you than about the work!

Last year, Peter Ravn had a solo exhibition in Rome in the gallery Z2O/Sara Zanin, which also represented him at ArteFiera, the most important art fair in Italy, in Bologna this spring. Ravn was also invited to participate in the new biennale in Brescia in northern Italy, which runs from the beginning of September to the end of November this year. In addition to this, he participated in Emergency Room in Wroclav, Poland, in September.
 


Information
 

"He Chose The Wrong Career"


Peter Ravn (DK), solo
Vernissage October 14th from 5 - 8 pm
The show runs until November 12th, 2011

 
Gallery Poulsen Contemporary Fine Arts 
Flæsketorvet 24, Den hvide Kødby 
1711 København V.
Tlf.+45 3333 9396 / +45 4015 5588
 

info@gallerypoulsen.com
Opening hours: Tuesday thru Friday 12 -17.30, Saturday 11 - 15 or by apointment
 
 


Press photos

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"Company"
160 x 160 cm, Oil on canvas. 2011.


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"Vanishing Point"
130 x 160 cm, Oil on canvas, 2011


Dog_700.jpg
"Dog"
40 x 40 cm, Oil on canvas, 2011
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