Leonard Forslund - WOOD NATION, 16 January - 21 February 2009

With his new exhibition at Galerie Mikael Andersen Leonard Forslund begins a larger coherent series of paintings, which he has given the title WOOD NATION. The intention with the title in in Forslund's own words 'to build a country, a nation of paintings, as a kind of settlers where tools and materials are simple. Without the use of computer.'

 

These days this may sound almost absurd but with paintings whose motifs consists of hedges, flags, ministries, riverscapes filled with forest, the colour Swedish red and gilded bullet holes we can see a tendency towards an  assumed isolationism or border marking with everything that this may imply. Whether it is Forslund’s own need for a specific membership or a critique of the same is a question which occurs and creates an uncertainty. At the same time we see a certain joy of carpentry which encourages the inclination to play along despite the somewhat dry and formal side of the paintings.

 

The idea for the exhibition originates from the reading and illustration work for the American poets Edgar Lee Masters’ anthology-like collection of poems SPOONRIVER from 1915-16. The poems in this book are almost a collection of epitaphs. Short reports of a deceased population, their fates or the qualms of conscience they have over the lots of others. The graves lie at The Hill, the cemetery on the hill outside the fictitious town Spoon River somewhere in USA.

 

 

In the absence of any form for description of the town in Edgar Lee Masters’ collection of poems the idea of creating a fictitious nation situated in a densely tree covered landscape somewhere on earth ocurred. A nation in the process of defining the painterly work as a sign for itself. The book by Edgar Lee Masters with illustrations by Leonard Forslund is published in Danish by Forlaget Vandkunsten 6 February 2009. There will be a reception on the occasion at Galerie Mikael Andersen Friday 6 February at 4 – 6 pm.

 

 

The project is sponsored by the Danish Arts Council Committee for Visual Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leonard Forslund, Nature 1, 2008, acrylic on canvas, 70 x 116 cm