SPECTA presents Magnet of Doom, a solo exhibition with recent paintings by the Swedish painter Alexander Skats. Investigating the role of image production and reception in the digital age, Skats combines enigmatic motifs referencing art and film history with a distinctive painterly expression. Magnet of Doom is the first solo presentation of his work in Denmark.
Alexander Skats’ artistic practice revolves around the production and consumption of images in the digital age – their ever-growing number and seemingly universal availably as well as the rapid, casual, and often unconscious way in which we process them.
Skats finds the motives for his paintings online, in old photographs, classic movies, or in real life. His choice of motifs does not seem to follow any rational, conscious strategy. He does not give a rationale for why he chooses to depict the figures and objects he depicts, nor does he provide us with a coherent narrative that would allow us to connect the individual images to each other. We are left to wonder whether we are looking at movie stars, historically significant figures or everyday people. Similarly, objects like vases or tree trunks may be charged with symbolic meaning, or they may simply be the result of a random online search. In this sense, Skats paintings are ruminations on the medium of painting itself: he investigates the dignity and presumed authority of an oil painting, while simultaneously transferring fleeting visual impressions into a permanent form which offers space for contemplation.
At first glance, Skats’ distinctive painterly style appears to be the only quality which links the paintings. On closer inspection, however, he seems to plant hints of a common thread, known only to himself, into the works. References to pictorial themes from the history of art and film – sleeping female figures, floral still lifes, swans – become apparent. Another recurring strategy is the play with scale and unusual formats: by magnifying a strawberry or a vase many times over, Skats allows us to appreciate the objects’ inherent beauty; but he also gives them an uncanny, almost supernational quality which is enhanced by his atmospheric, intense use of colour and light.
Peder Skrams Gade 13
1054 København K
Lør 11-14 og efter aftale