Galerie Gabriel Rolt presents "Part Here Part Barely There", Nik Christensen’s most recent body of work. For his 5th solo show at the gallery, Christensen takes us further in his journey made of Japanese sumi ink and monochrome forms.
Before the recognition of a represented landscape or figure, it’s the depth of colors that catches the viewer’s eye. The variation of tones drags the spectator into the intriguing shadows of the paintings: from the delicate lightness of the grey to the darkness of the pure black, the gaze wanders on the paper and gets entirely lost in the changeable nuances of light. The different subjects appear so as the result of a sudden materialization: they just take form in front of us, they happen, as phenomenological factors of the material world. Phenomenology, Edmund Husserl’s conception about worldly things as ‘phenomena which occur’, is surely used as a source of inspiration. The Husserlian philosophy resonates in Christensen’s lines, it becomes a concretization of thoughts and feelings, accompanied by fragments of other, semi - recognizable, references.
The dichotomy of geometric shapes and vague, undefined spots creates the perception of a parallel, other dimension: the morbid figurativity of things meets the hardness of a digital, quasi-futuristic geometry, which reminds, among others, of German expressionistic art and cinema. The fogginess of colors and the almost scientific cut of the paintings refer, for instance, to The cabinet of dr. Caligari, the film where the quintessential elements of German expressionism come together. The almost idyllic nature represented in My Tears Blend To Where the Rain Went is made of squares and rectangles, referring more to a future digital landscape than to a traditional, peaceful habitat. The same alienation is glorified in Modern triumph; the title itself explicates the present and future victory of technological progress.
Each pixel, or hard-lined fragment, by which the whole of the image is composed, gain a different meaning if reconstructed by the viewer’s gaze. It’s exactly the versatility of this reconstruction that allows the existence of endless possibilities and realities, giving a semiotical value to the works.
The infinite ways and means of perception are what lie behind the title of the show: the impressions of the here are fragile in their instantaneity, they are poised between present and future, and end being incomplete: Part Here Part Barely There.
Nik Christensen - Part Here Part Barely There
January 30 — March 5, 2016
Opening reception: January 30, 17:00-20:00
18:30: Live music by Firestone
Galerie Gabriel Rolt
1073 SE Amsterdam