Lars Tygesen - MASQUERADE, 9 August - 15 September 2007

Lars Tygesen paints pictures of another world. Like memories from a bygone time the figures slowly emerge through deep layers of paint and take form in the impasto-like surface of the pictures. In the colour play of the flower decoration, the foamy material of the dresses and the slim lines of the furniture the artist evokes intense moments of presence that arise in the state of flux between the emergence of the figures in the picture and their fixation in the unfinished form of the material. Abandoned by the artist on the edge of the figurative, the work remains there, vibrant, in an eternal transition between composition and decomposition, between becoming and vanishing. It is in this alternation between figure and matter that the artist forges the classic drama of the work, whose theme is the intangible nature of beauty.

The subjects of Lars Tygesen’s works have their models in the form-filled world of the Baroque. Painted at apparently unguarded moments, the figures we meet in the pictures are absorbed in intimate scenes from a privileged past. In a close embrace, the daughter of the house finds her returned fiancé, and with concentrated movements a grey-clad gentleman continues writing his enigmatic letter. But the immediacy of the scenes is illusory. The figures are all faceless dolls whose actions hint at a narrative that is only enacted for the benefit of the voyeuristic observer. The scenes are masquerades, which in turn conceal other masquerades, and the narrative is a labyrinthine interplay of seduction and betrayal which dissolves the body behind the object. It is in this paradoxical presence through absence, or this ideal state between being and ceasing to be, that the figures are manifested in the work.

Lars Tygesen, Untitled, 2007, oil on canvas, 250 x 250 cm