Chaos under control

Posted on March 13th, 2011 in English, Texts

By Lisbeth Bonde, 2011.

Published for the exhibition House of Odd

Trine Boesen (b. 1972) overwhelms the viewer with her explosive and chaotic figures and shapes that twist in all directions. In her ahierarchical pictorial universe, all times and places meet: Pop and Classical, The West and The East, past and present, organic and geometric structures and forms swirl around in a wild and vital current. Only the imagination sets limits as to what can happen in the paintings if one masters technique as well as Boesen does. There is however, a controlled chaos which is drawn neatly with Posca pens, as well as Boesen’s hand, controlling the brush without trembling as she sets acrylic colors on the virgin white canvas which she handles like a piece of paper. Her works are a hybrid between painting, collage and drawing – working in unorthodox ways with the old medium of painting, twisting it in new directions.

Boesen situates herself far from the abstract-expressive ”hands-on” agenda, in which the artist poured his soul and put down his emotions and feelings spontaneously onto the canvas with wild brushwork, impasto and aggressive layers of oil paint, if the paint hadn’t been dripped onto the surface of the painting while dancing. She belongs to the generation which came after the major ideologies and -isms and plays with the outward appearance of things, carefully thinking out a plan before laying down her first stroke. She projects her main motif – usually a knife-sharp architectural vision, onto the canvas using an overhead projector and uses it as a kind of matrix or fundamental structure. Thus, in her work, the architectural elements hold together a world that is out of joint. As Carsten Thau writes in his new book ‘Arkitekturen som tidsmaskine’ (Copenhagen 2010), architecture is the oldest tangible mass medium that not only is “the most resistant media to decay over time, but it also offers the most immediate experience of day and night, and light moving through the man-made”. Once Boesen has painted architecture as a resistant grid, she can then add her fertile and often humorous chaos that resembles the flow of information we encounter on the Web and in electronic mass media. Her new works for Galerie MøllerWitt testify that the narrative plays an increasingly minor role in favor of painting’s formal possibilities, just as her palette has been slightly more muted, to amongst other things, give shape and structure a more prominent place.

But the lush, vital and cheerful information “boom” which is  Boesen’s distinctive hallmark is fortunately still there. The pictures are filled with stuff, signs and strange events which are exciting to explore, because herein lies a quantity of hidden or more-or-less direct messages that entice the viewer. All these things seem to have been catapulted out of a black hole in the universe, or rather is it perhaps that they are about to be engulfed by it? It is impossible to determine whether the world is about to disappear, or on the contrary, whether it actually is in the making. But regardless of this, there is a characteristic other universe – a hole through to something non-definable, something unknown. The mysterious, empty parallel universe forms a contrast to the familiar which we meet on the image’s surface. The known world appears in general as a thin and far from sustainable construction that we only have on borrowed time, but before this world disappears like bubbles in a stream, Boesen initiates a wild party. And that is something that for nothing in the world, would one want to miss.

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