Erik Steffensen - Blue Notes at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard
On Friday 26 August, Galleri Bo Bjerggaard will open the autumn season's first exhibition with entirely new photographic works by the Danish artist Erik Steffensen.
Blue Notes is Erik Steffensen's third one-man exhibition at the gallery, and it also marks the artist's 50th birthday earlier this year.
The exhibition will be presented in the gallery's three large exhibition rooms, and will feature works that the artist has created within the past year. Besides the new works in Erik Steffensen's characteristically strong colour tones, and a site-specific wallpaper, there will also be a chance to see an interesting return to the small monochrome formats that dominated the artist's early photographic work.
Erik Steffensen typically finds his motifs in that which seems immediately attractive: people, landscapes and cultural historical subjects that inspire him, whether this is scenery from David Lynch's 'Twin Peaks' or Edgar Degas' famous horses. For Steffensen, cultural history will always be a reservoir of questions and unrealised potentials, but as the German writer Hans Jürgen Balmes writes in the exhibition catalogue, ”This gaze never seems nostalgic, overfamiliar or even glorifying – the image is always clearly marked as contemporary due to its execution in the medium chosen and its reflectiveness.”
The exhibition title Blue Notes refers amongst other things to jazz, rock and blues music, where it is the name of a "bent" or "worried" note, typically played in a slightly lower pitch, and which makes the music sound more intense and meaningful. Transferred to the darkroom, such "notes" intensify or blur Erik Steffensen's expression in his motifs. Or as Balmes puts it: ”Through the fissure that opens up between the shifts and distortions, we see an infinity. In this art and nature, image of the external world and projection of the inner world, subject and eye observe one another in an unending play of reflections in a room of possibilities. Here seeing constantly finds new forms but never comes to rest in one place. The gaze remains hovering.”
Erik Steffensen was born in 1961 in Valby. He lives and works in Copenhagen and on the island of Læsø, and from 1998-2007 he was a professor at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He has held several solo exhibitions in Denmark and abroad, most recently the major exhibition High Five at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen in 2010, which was followed up the year after at Kristinehamns Konstmuseum in Sweden. Erik Steffensen's works are represented in many public collections, including Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk and ARoS in Aarhus.
The opening reception will take place on Friday 26 August from 4.00 - 6.00 pm.
Erik Steffensen will be present at the opening. The exhibition Erik Steffensen – Blue Notes can be seen at Galleri Bo Bjerggaard until 8 October.