Eske Kath - GRAVITY, 2 November - 8 December 2007

The exhibition presents a series of new works by Eske Kath that each unfolds a reflexion on nature and the forces of nature’s interaction with our lives. The works depict the well-ordered existence that is influenced by the forces of nature and examines the paradox between the frailty of human civilization and our fascination of nature’s inherent beauty.

 

If the force of gravity did not exist everything would appear weightless. The mists of the universe would not have condensed into galaxies with twinkling stars and circling planets. The earth and its life would not have existed. Not even the elements that we as humans consist of would have been formed. But even though it is a fundamental human condition to be subjugated to the force of gravity we as modern human beings still find it difficult to comprehend the basic nature of gravitation. However, in his artistic practice Kath seeks to comprehend the incomprehensible, to control the incontrollable and to depict the infinite universe on the delimited picture plane of the painting. He depicts the force of gravity as an all dominating law of nature that contains both creative and destructive powers and whose constant influence on human existence continues to fill us with fascination and amazement.

                      

Shining suns of gold, floating skeletons, dancing death’s head moths and twinkling starry skies meet the beholder in Kath’s new paintings, collages and sculptures. The works depict the force of gravity as a metaphor of the incontrollable conditions that are inflicted on our lives. With a mixture of fascination and fear, human beings – and art – have always been attracted towards the phenomena of nature: For example in the religious motifs of Doomsday in Baroque art or in the depiction of human powerlessness faced with the dramatic dimensions and tremendous forces of nature in art from the Romantic period. Eske Kath’s colourful and visually fascinating works inscribe themselves in this art historical tradition. His works mix a formally modern idiom and a long historical tradition of artistic adaptations of nature. 

 

The works of Eske Kath take their point of departure in a figurative idiom. The depiction of natural phenomena contains a series of recognizable elements which enable us to read the motifs of the paintings. But at the same time the paintings appear as abstract surface paintings. The motifs are simplified and strictly stylized in their expression. In this way the colourful and sharply divided picture surface of the paintings bring into focus abstract artistic effects such as form and colour.

 

Pictorially Kath is inspired by the schematic forms of representation in natural science books, by the fixation of movement in comics and by the stylized world of fiction in disaster films. Furthermore, he employs traditional pictorial techniques of representation such as for example the golden section in order to create a balance in the picture. By employing these artistic effects Kath creates a disquieting tension between the ordered and the chaotic, the static and the dynamic, the controllable and the incontrollable: A tension that activates us as beholders and encourages us to reflect upon our fragile existence in a boundless and forceful nature.

Installation view, Eske Kath - Gravity, Galerie Mikael Andersen Copenhagen 2007