Magazine article Artforum International

Henrik Olesen

Magazine article Artforum International

Henrik Olesen

Article excerpt

MALMO KONSTHALL

Henrik Olesen's art is unmarvelous. Unlike the spectacular work of fellow Nordic artists Olafur Eliasson and Elmgreen & Dragset, his is gritty and grounded. There's no appealing finish--either to his works (collages, posters, sculptures, texts, and three-dimensional architectural interventions), or to his first major exhibition in Scandinavia, at Malmo Konsthall, whose generous, rectangular space has probably never been used this inharmoniously. The far half of the space was packed with material and presented no clear distinction between the different works, while the other half, facing the street, was left almost empty. This rhizomatic installation fit Olesen's image laboratory in a way that a neatly curated show wouldn't have.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

He is surprisingly little known in his native Denmark, but Olesen, born in 1967, has established himself as a remarkable contemporary artist on the wider scene, for instance with a presentation currently on view in New York in the Museum of Modern Art's Projects gallery. The retrospective in Malmo (traveling next month to the Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel) contains works from the past thirteen years, and what at first glance appeared to be an incoherent accumulation of stuff turned out to be a robust presentation of works tied together by a rough thread.

The first piece one encountered was I do not go to work today. I don't think I go tomorrow, 2010, a much expanded version of an installation first shown at the Berlin Biennale in 2010. Mounted on Plexiglas panels hanging from the ceiling and on an old dividing wall the artist found in the basement of the Malmo Konsthall, the work displays pieces of electronic hardware disassembled by the artist--for instance, a couple of Apple laptops. The small components are dissected and glued side by side on the panels. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.