Tid: 16. maj - 30. august 2020
Sted: Johannes Larsen Museum
Photo-artwork of Nordic landscapes
Exhibition opening Friday, May 15, 2020 at 4 PM
Experience Henrik Saxgren’s artwork in the largest consecutive presentation to date of his Nordic landscapes. The exhibition shows Saxgren’s focus for many years on landscape motifs from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Denmark.
Lyrical and dramatic depictions of nature
Saxgren manages to transfer the intense witnessing of photo-reporting and the intimacy of the moment during field work to the sweeping, often lyrical and dramatic depictions of nature. Sometimes he plays with almost abstract elements, lifts endless middle tones and resolutions, but he never stoops to banal naturalism.
In his images, notably devoid of people, one can sense, sometimes, elements or traces of civilization, or of human influence on the landscape. But the landscapes are always subject to the light and weather of the moment. The photographs show great, wide spaces and high, open skies, usually depicted during the off-hours, dawn or dusk, and they appeal to us with their open and sensuous expression, through the viewer’s experience of nature, and by making the viewer aware of his or her own existence.
The Tønder Marsh and the Nordic Countries
On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Reunification of Denmark in 1920, a series of photos from the Tønder Marsh in Southern Jutland will be featured in the exhibition, and will be the Johannes Larsen Museum’s contribution to the celebration of the jubilee. (Southern Jutland was annexed by Germany in 1864 and reunited with Denmark in 1920, after a referendum decided where the border should be drawn.)
In addition, there will be sharp focus on Saxgren’s work process as a “nature artist”, with a point of departure in one of the most prominent practitioners of our time, and his approach to his materials and techniques.
Thematically and in terms of the works chosen, the series of photographs from the Tønder Marshes will make up half of the exhibition, with the other half showing works from Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Greenland (including Thule) and other Danish/Nordic motifs.
The exhibition is being curated in close collaboration with the artist.
The artist who melts into the landscape
Henrik Saxgren is one of Denmark’s most widely acknowledged photographers, especially due to his countless documentary travel descriptions and his focus on people’s conditions and behaviour. He has moved among and worked with people at the edge of society, with young, urban squatters, with immigrants to the Nordic countries, and he’s depicted native people’s meeting with the harsh living conditions offered by nature in the Arctic. In more recent years, nature and pure landscape images have taken the central role in his production.
Henrik Saxgren unites himself in a concentrated and insistent way with his motif, and his work form is characterized by endurance, sensitivity, a sense of capturing a place and a moment with sovereign control of his tools. With these qualities as a nature artist in his creative work, Saxgren is spiritually related to Johannes Larsen, for whom his travels, his field work, his experience of nature and the concrete, creative process he was involved in, were all interconnected.
The exhibition will be accompanied by an exhibition catalogue with artwork and an interview with the artist.