“Art does not imitate nature, it imitates a creation, sometimes to propose an alternative world, sometimes simply to amplify, to confirm, to make social the brief hope offered by nature. Art is an organized response to what nature allows us to glimpse occasionally” –John Berger (Art critic, 1926 - 2017)
On Saturday June 12th Gallery Poulsen opens the exhibition “Modern Mythos with Angela Gram, Zane York & Hannah Yata.
In a technological, post-pandemic age of impersonal and disconnected relationships between individuals there persists a sensibility in contemporary art that stresses the interdependence of living beings, both human and non-human, through the visual use of anthropomorphism, allegory, and surrealist interpretations of the natural world. While the complex physical reality of nature presents itself as mostly a myth in modern life, contemporary artists depicting nature defiantly elevate this topic to one of vital cultural importance. It is one of the most primordial dialogues in human history, where visual depictions of the natural world and animals within it are symbolically intertwined with humanity and seen in ways that define and redefine our values and identities throughout time. This exhibition brings together artists who powerfully convey the new era of these social narratives through painting.
Through her paintings, Angela Gram intend to embrace a larger environmental dialogue and passionately explore creativity where nature retains its value as a vehicle for direct observation, understanding, and self expression.?The surrealism of Angela Gram’s four works is grounded in natural phenomenon, the relationships between predator and prey, and the reality of environmental peril through climate change. Her painting “Name This Place” is connected to Angela’s understanding or idea of Leucism. Leucism is a rare genetic mutation that causes partial loss of pigmentation in an animal. Leucistic lions have been seen in the wild but they are mostly bred in captivity as “white lions”. I imagined this trait would evolve as an advantage in an imaginary future where lions hunted a polar landscape due to migration or climate change.
Yata’s work intently focuses on celebrating the force of life and the cycles of death, decay, and regeneration. Her work dives into the demonization of the feminine by patriarchal societies. While the Greek Hades was male, the oldest archaic myths of the underworld attribute this position to a female given the belief of death was a return to the womb, or the underworld, to be reborn again.
Realizing the mythological and religious aspects of nature-based religions beginning in the Paleolithic era, she interweaves animals, totems, and archetypes rich in archaic symbolism. Masks highlight a world steeped in mystery and ritual. Scenes dripping in the glorious and grotesque, these elements combine to sing to the rich cathedral of the wild and an archaic revival.
Zane York’s work is instilled with a passive unreality. They are quiet paintings that veil their intent. While the viewer sees expected scenarios of traditional still life painting, elements are shifted, heightened, or otherwise transformed. Key to this altered state is the transmogrification of insects into flower forms, which build into bouquets suspended over typical and atypical vessels. The interest is not in creating the surreal; rather, seating real elements in an unreal scenario; evoking a fresh consideration of the otherwise staid or mundane. Fully embraced in this conceit is the idea that beauty and absurdity are not counterpoints, but rather intertwined and complimentary components of our reality. In Zane York’s work thematic and compositional influence can be seen from the heart of the Dutch golden age still life masters (de Heem, Heda, van Schrieck, van Aelst, van Bayeren, etc.), as well as the idiosyncratic masters Caravaggio and Archimboldo, while his recent palette drifts to later Dutch Masters (Ruysch, and van Huysum) and on into (and past) the Rococo.
Angela Gram (US), Hannah Yata (US) & Zane York (US)
12.06 - 10.07 2021
Vernissage Saturday June 12th from 12-4pm
Contact the gallery at [email protected] or phone + 45 33 33 93 96 for further information