In his newest series of works, Armin Boehm reflects on the loss of his sister and tries to evoke key moments in their shared life in a series of complex, colorful and luminous paintings that make way for both hope and despair. At the center of the exhibition are the three large-format paintings “Le Spectre de la Rose”, “Les Jours Lumineux” and “Intellectual Séance in Red” that were all created in 2023 and in the wake of a great loss.
In “Le Spectre de la Rose”, we find ourselves in the spacious living room of what seems to be a metropolitan apartment, judging by the architecture visible through the window. A couple is dancing passionately to the music of a DJ in the right of the picture. Two women in the background are quietly observing the dancers, while a couple on the left are absorbed by their smartphones. A cat hangs upside-down mid-air. The scene is familiar yet strangely surreal. The color scheme is complex, but somehow still holds together. We see books on Matisse, Twombly, Duchamps; a carpet paying homage to textile artist Christoph Hefti; flower compositions, fabric patterns, references to mainstream culture, and the aforementioned cat – all recurring pictorial elements in Boehm’s production. Thus, the artist also refers to himself and his own life. And ultimately, what these symbols channel is the theme of urban bohemianism: eroticism, decadence, club culture, fashion, design, the art world itself, architecture, loneliness, disinterest, intrigues, cynicism, arrogance, envy, and jealousy. It’s a psychological portrait of a cultural class.
“Les Jours Lumineux” alludes to the same kind of topics, but it differs from “Le Spectre de la Rose” in the sense that it refers to a specific, private memory of the artist. The scene is a wedding or maybe an engagement party. Boehm is intentionally ambiguous in this regard. The painting itself is not meant as a literal depiction of an historic event, but rather as a representation of a rare, untroubled moment in a life full of hardship. And yet not everything is pure bliss, as suggested by the Janus-headed DJ flirting with a girl while flipping records, the people dancing alone and in a different room in the background – and to different music? – the curled-up girl in a chair staring aloofly at her smartphone, the frowning dog on the bookshelf, and, perhaps most of all, by the ominous countenance of the devil on the cover of a magazine dumped on the floor in front of the dancing couple. Nothing is ever picture-perfect – especially not pictures – and we sense the same underlying themes of indifference, jealousy, and decadence as in “Le Spectre de la Rose”.
“Indoor séances – often with an almost occult air to them – have always been a staple of Armin Boehm’s work. In “Intellectual séance in red”, we see a girl stretched-out on a chaise lounge, seemingly unwell or in pain. A solemn dog lies on top of her, while a kneeling figure offers her comfort. People are scattered around the room: A woman in the foreground is holding a cat, while a dapper DJ in loafers provides the music with his eyes closed. In the background, a man has stepped out onto the balcony – perhaps to smoke – and a woman is busy talking on the phone. On the left, observing the reclining figure, a man in a painter’s jacket is smoking a cigarette while holding up George Orwell’s “1984”. We see references to Hilma af Klint, Steiner, Fellini, Italian parapsychologist Gutavo Rol, and Christoph Hefti again. The space is more intimate and condensed than in the other paintings – almost claustrophobic – and the feeling of urgency and reverence is tangible. A ritual unfolds. The theme is one of healing: The healing power of music, of animal presence, of conversation, of intimacy, of therapeutic colors. But we also sense that healing is not guaranteed.
In addition to the large, narrative paintings depicted here, “Die hellen Tage” will present a series of medium-sized and smaller paintings that all somehow revolve around the same themes of life, death, decadence, jealousy, joy, and sorrow. In short, the complexity of the human experience.
Dette indhold er produceret i samarbejde med et udstillingssted som en del af udstillingstedets Artguide-abonnement hos kunsten.nu.
Kunsten.nus uafhængige redaktion har intet at gøre med indholdet.
1057 København K
Niveaufri adgang – nej
Handicaptoilet – nej
Gratis for ledsager – ja
lør: 12-15 og efter aftale.
Lukket fra 21 dec - 3 jan
+45 25 75 10 57