John Jacobsmeyer: ”Knotty Children”


“Lazing around my grandparents pine cabin on summer mornings, I would gaze at the innumerable knots in the paneling. Those long stares invited fantasy or even hallucination, some knots seeming to become creatures while others appeared to be holes, perhaps sphincters. The wild figuring found in pinewood welcomed transgressions in what was, for me a very conservative family.”
John Jacobsmeyer, 2016
 
En verden af levende træ og sprudlende ungdom åbner sig for os, når John Jacobsmeyer inviterer os med indenfor i soloudstillingen ”Knotty Children”, der er Jacobsmeyers anden solo i Gallery Poulsen. Inspireret af Brødrene Grimms eventyr ”Hans og Grete” fra 1812 får vi her et helt nyt og opdateret billede på, hvordan uartige og besværlige børn fordriver tiden og ofte ender i tragikomiske situationer.
 
Hændelserne opstår ikke hvor som helst, men derimod i Jacobsmeyers absolutte kendetegn - komplekse træinteriørs og computerinspireret arkitektur. Vi kigger ind i snørklede rum og flader, som alle er bygget op af detaljerede fyrtræs-mønstre i mange forskellige farvenuancer. Det er svært ikke at lade sig betage af disse gennemarbejdede overflader og træets hypnotiserende og fortryllende effekt.
 
Som Jacobsmeyer selv understreger i citatet ovenfor, så har træet en helt særlig dragende struktur, hvis interne logik Jacobsmeyer har studeret siden barndommens besøg i bedsteforældrenes feriehytte bygget af fyrretræ. Paradoksalt nok, så er alle oliemalerier i ”Knotty Children” skabt på en base af aluminium. Der bliver med andre ord ikke sprunget over, hvor gærdet er lavest, når Jacobsmeyer maler sine træmotiver frem til overfladen.
 
Kontrasten mellem det kolde metal og det endelige varme og levende udtryk er imponerende stor. Udfordringen i den kunstneriske proces er således gjort størst og sværest mulig – en opgave som Jacobsmeyer snildt løser uden den mindste slinger i valsen.
 
Trods den lidt negativ klingende titel ”Knotty Children”, så mindes vi med Jacobsmeyers værker og reference til ”Hans og Grete” også om, at ungdom ikke blot trækker dovenskab, frækhed og modsigelser med sig. Modsat voksnes ofte rationelle og fornuftige fremgangsmåde, så handler unge mennesker med en befriende opfindsomhed, spontanitet og umiddelbarhed, som vi alle har godt af at blive mindet om i ny og næ. For selvom man ender i hvad der mest af alt ligner en finurlig programmeringsfejl i et computerspil, så var den spændende vej derhen helt sikkert det hele værd.
 
Med kvadratiske oliemalerier understreger Jacobsmeyer sin fascination af den virtuelle verden, da han netop med dette format helt ubemærket giver os et ganske særligt perspektiv, der imiterer en first-person-shooter (FPS) fra computerspil eller et observerende blik fra et overvågningskamera.
 
Helt eksklusivt kigger vi med fra forreste række, når Jacobsmeyer lader os komme med ind i sit forunderlig univers af udforskende ungdom, skæbnesvangre situationer og knitrende knaster!
 
Udstillingen består af tretten oliemalerier på aluminium i tre forskellige størrelser.
John Jacobsmeyer ankommer til København tirsdag d. 23. februar og vil være tilgængelig for interview samt tilstede til ferniseringen fredag d. 26. Februar fra 17:00-19:00. Kontakt Morten Poulsen på +45 33339396 / [email protected] for nærmere aftale.

“Lazing around my grandparents pine cabin on summer mornings, I would gaze at the innumerable knots in the paneling. Those long stares invited fantasy or even hallucination, some knots seeming to become creatures while others appeared to be holes, perhaps sphincters. The wild figuring found in pinewood welcomed transgressions in what was, for me a very conservative family.”
John Jacobsmeyer, 2016
 
A world of vivid wood and exuberant youth unfolds when John Jacobsmeyer invites us into his solo show “Knotty Children”, which is Jacobsmeyer’s second solo at Gallery Poulsen. Inspired by The Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale ”Hansel and Gretel” from 1812 Jacobsmeyer provides us with a totally new and updated image of how naughty and troublesome children spend their time and often end up in tragicomic situations.
 
The incidents occur exclusively in Jacobsmeyer’s absolute fiction – complex wooden interiors and computer inspired architecture. We look into intricate environments and scenes, all of which are built of pinewood patterns in various color tones. It’s difficult not to be impressed by these worked through surfaces and the wood’s mesmerizing and enchanting effects.
 
According to Jacobsmeyer’s own words in the quote above, the wood has a unique fascinating structure with an internal logic that Jacobsmeyer has been studying since his childhood, where he visited his grandparents’ pine cabin during summer vacation. Paradoxically, all oil paintings in “Knotty Children” are created on a base of aluminum. In this manner, Jacobsmeyer has by no means succumbed to the path of least resistance when he paints his wooden motifs to the metallic surface.
 
The contrast between the cold metal and the final warm and vivid expression is impressively vast. In this way, the challenge in the artistic process is made the biggest and most difficult possible – an assignment that Jacobsmeyer easily solves without the slightest hitch. He transforms the man made materials back to represent the inviting natural world with the human hand.
 
Despite the somewhat didactic title “Knotty Children” Jacobsmeyer’s works and reference to “Hansel and Gretel” remind us that youth not only evokes laziness, audacity and gainsaying but an antonym to adult pragmatism. Unlike adult’s often rational and prudent approach, youngsters act with a liberating ingenuity, spontaneity and immediacy that we all can benefit to be reminded of from time to time. You are invited in to become lost in what resembles a whimsical programming error in a computer game, and find the excitement is the navigation of the adventure over the outcome.
 
With thirteen square oil paintings Jacobsmeyer underlines his fascination of the virtual world, where he uses this exact format to give us, the viewer, a unique perspective imitating a first-person-shooter (FPS) from video games, or from the scrutinizing gaze of the surveillance camera.
 
Exclusively from the front row Jacobsmeyer lets us look into his marvelous universe of the exploration of youth, catastrophes, and peering knots!
 
The show consists of thirteen oil paintings on aluminum in three different sizes.
John Jacobsmeyer will arrive in Copenhagen Tuesday, February 23rd and will be available for interview and present at the opening Friday, February 26th from 5-7 pm. Contact Morten Poulsen at +45 3333 9396 / [email protected] for further inquiries.

 
"Taken" 2015 Oil on aluminium 111 x 111 cm, 43.7 × 43.7 in
"Blow Off" 2015 Oil on aluminium 71 x 71 cm, 28 × 28 in
"Patrol Meeting" 2015 Oil on aluminium 71 x 71 cm, 28 × 28 in
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