Introspect

Frederikshavn Art Museum 2012

INTERACTION BETWEEN INNER AND OUTER LANDSCAPES
By Marianne Gasbjerg, art historian, writer, arts facilitator and art critic

(Summary of the original text in danish)
The artist Peter Ejlerskov is at home in familiar surroundings when he exhibitshis latest works at the Frederikshavn Art Museum. He grew up in Strandby justnorth of Frederikshavn, where the sky is high and the countryside is justoutside the front door. The exhibition Introspect is precisely Ejlerskov'sreminded landscape impressions that are translated and processed intoexpressive works that contain fragments of his own feelings and impressions.The result is that in the even pitch darkness, or the brightest bright one canfind impressions of a meeting with nature or the landscape. It can be a sketchof a tree surface, indication of a meeting with a horizon line or the rooftopsstringent silhouette, projecting into the dark night. Ejlerskov's closeness tonature and landscape is an intimate feeling, already in sync with him in hischildhood years. At the school's walls in Strandby he came upon a work thatspoke to him in a different way than the other pictures that adorned theschool's long corridors. It was the North Jutland artist Svend Engelund'slandscape motifs. Not because the image quality stood out especially from theother - all the pictures on the walls were reproductions, as the sun hadgradually faded. But Ejlerskov could in Svend Engelund's tight compositionsrecognize Nordjyllands flat, outstretched landscape, the high sky and fieldchanging color scheme - all that was precisely the essence of the landscapearound Strandby.

FROM ENGELUND TO COLOR FIELD
Peter Ejlerskov's painting style in an extension of the expressive wave, whichwas reintroduced in the 80s by “de unge vilde”. A group of young artists whotried to return to the expressive painting after the visual arts had beenpronounced dead in the 60s and 70s focused on conceptual art and minimalism.The avant-garde in the 70s should not contain traces of the artists, but onlyfocus on the viewer's meeting and dialogue with the arts. The wave of youngartists who broke away from the avant-garde began in Germany where, amongothers, Georg Baselitz (1938) and Anselm Kiefer (1945) threw themselfes uponthe expressive painting. The trend quickly spread to other countries. InDenmark, it was a group of artists who exhibited together in 1982 under thetitle "The knife on the head," which had the honor to re-introducethe expressive painting again. It was not a common style of painting thatcharacterized the pack - just an urgent need to re-express themselvesartistically through sensuous and expressive images.

…Ejlerskov's lyrical abstract works show an inspiration ranging from colorfield painter Mark Rothko (1903-1970) to the landscape painter Svend Engelund(1908-2007) and the lyrical abstract artist Per Kirkeby (1938) and Maja LisaEngelhardt (1956). What influences and inspires him, is artists works based onremembered and recalled landscape observations. At Rothko it resulted in aclean, vibrant color abstraction that put the viewer in a meditative process inmeeting the monumental images. Kirkeby and Engelhardt use landscape impressionsas a springboard for the works which they paint and reproduce in ever newvariations on the same topic. Ejlerskov's painting style, however, pursues itsown track - or 'his own furrow', as he himself would express it. The motifs hefinds outside during the daily trips with the family dog. It's the littlethings who takes and gives inspiration - the soft breeze, the meanderinglandscape, broken branches, stones formations, forest dense thickets or smalltowns angular architecture. Experiences and visions he takes in his memory,after which he can redeem impressions.

INTROVERT APPROACH
With the exhibition Introspect it is for Peter Ejlerskov to go near a theme andwork through the criss-cross until he has uncovered all aspects of the theme -found into something that has an essence and disseminated it in the painting.But also a quest for reflection and introspection, which drives him forward. InIntrospect Ejlerskov goes close to himself. In the works he redeems histhoughts, feelings and experiences. The landscape and nature is still present -as memories of an encounter with nature that has put him in a certain mood. Insome of the lyrical abstract works one senses concrete and clear references tothe landscape's changing nature, others more about meditation andcontemplation.

…Ejlerskov still insists on retaining the idea of ​​a beauty concept.Therefore, the works in Introspect ultimately open up for discussion andreflection on precisely the concept of beauty and aesthetics in Danish art today.

(original text in danish only)
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