Kunsthalle Düsseldorf

Yngve Holen


01 - 16 Sep 2018

Yngve Holen, Rose Paintings, 2018, exhibition view at Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, photo: Katja Illner

This sum­mer, Kunst­hal­le Düs­sel­dorf pres­ents the new se­ries of works Ro­se Pain­ting (2018) by the Nor­we­gi­an-Ger­man sculp­tor Yng­ve Ho­len (*1982 in Braun­schweig, li­ves and works in Ber­lin) in the two-week
so­lo ex­hi­bi­ti­on HOR­SES.

To­ge­ther wi­th the Ja­pa­ne­se pho­to­gra­pher Sa­to­shi Fu­ji­wa­ra (*1984 in Ko­be, Ja­pan, li­ves and works in Ber­lin), Ho­len has pro­du­ced an ar­tist’s book for the ex­hi­bi­ti­on. In it, Ho­len and Fu­ji­wa­ra, who is known for his ex­tre­me clo­seups and sen­si­ti­vi­ty to struc­tu­res, com­bi­ne their in­te­rest in sur­faces and ap­pearan­ces. An image by Fu­ji­wa­ra is al­so used for the ban­ner ad­ver­ti­sing the ex­hi­bi­ti­on on the ex­te­ri­or of the Kunst­hal­le.

In his sculp­tu­ral works, Ho­len ana­ly­zes the re­la­ti­ons­hip bet­ween the de­sign and func­tion of ob­jects, and the­r­ein their as­so­cia­ted va­lue ge­ne­ra­ti­on and fe­tis­hiza­t­i­on. By de­pri­ving ever­y­day pro­ducts of in­dus­try and tech­no­lo­gy of their ori­gi­nal func­tion, al­te­ring them, and trans­la­ting them in­to the con­text of art, the ar­tist si­mul­ta­neous­ly po­ses ques­ti­ons about in­dus­tri­al pro­duc­tion, cur­rent tech­ni­cal de­ve­lop­ments, and me­cha­ni­zed pro­ce­du­res. He ex­ami­nes ob­jects and de­signs and their re­la­ti­ons­hip to in­di­vi­du­al con­struc­tions of sta­tus and power struc­tu­res.

The star­ting point of the se­ries Ro­se Pain­ting is the rims of fi­ve dif­fe­rent SUV mo­dels. Their iso­la­ted cores we­re 3D scan­ned, sca­led to a dia­me­ter of two me­ters, and mil­led in cross-la­mi­na­ted tim­ber. The shift in si­ze and chan­ge of ma­te­ri­als, from alu­mi­num to wood, makes the works re­call the wa­gon wheels of his­to­ri­cal hor­se-drawn car­ria­ges or sta­ge­coa­ches. In their de­li­be­ra­te non-func­tio­na­li­ty, they par­ti­cu­lar­ly em­pha­si­ze the or­na­men­tal qua­li­ty and point to an en­t­i­re spec­trum of con­cen­tri­cal­ly de­si­gned ele­ments, from the ro­se pain­ting style to the Go­t­hic ro­se win­dow.

The woo­den rims will chan­ge and dis­co­lor over ti­me, as the ma­te­ri­al, wi­th its na­tu­ral pro­per­ties and pro­duc­tion-re­la­ted mil­ling marks and cracks, re­acts to ex­ter­nal in­flu­en­ces such as tem­pe­ra­tu­re, sun, and hu­mi­di­ty. If wood as a ma­te­ri­al is as­so­cia­ted wi­th as­pects of crafts­manship, Ho­len’s rims re­flect the use of mo­dern-day, mul­ti-sta­ge, com­pu­ter-con­trol­led pro­ces­ses.

Ho­len’s choice of in­dus­tri­al cross-la­mi­na­ted tim­ber can be un­ders­tood as a com­men­ta­ry on the boom in the use of this ma­te­ri­al in the na­me of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly-con­scious be­ha­vi­or and na­tu­ral­ness, thus poin­ting to a con­tem­pora­ry tas­te that is ori­en­ted toward tra­di­ti­on.

The purcha­se of an SUV, on the
other hand, seems less about ra­tio­nal choices or an ethos of sustaina­bi­li­ty than about emo­ti­ons and pres­ti­ge, the si­mu­la­ti­on of free­dom. Yet the en­vi­ron­men­tal­ly ques­tio­nable de­sign of SU­Vs con­trasts wi­th any eco­lo­gi­cal op­ti­miza­t­i­on of ve­hi­cles in terms of con­sump­ti­on, emis­si­ons, and sustaina­bi­li­ty of pro­duc­tion. Pe­de­stri­ans and other dri­vers are al­so at hig­her risk against SU­Vs, for the sa­ke of tas­te and con­ve­ni­ence.

Fol­lowing the ex­hi­bi­ti­ons of works from the Ro­se Pain­ting se­ries at Ga­le­rie Neu du­ring Gal­le­ry Weekend 2018 in Ber­lin and la­ter in Mi­lan at Con­ver­so, in the for­mer church of San Pao­lo Con­ver­so, all twen­ty works will be shown at Kunst­hal­le Düs­sel­dorf for the first and on­ly ti­me.

As a re­call, the pre­sen­ta­ti­on po­ses ques­ti­ons about se­ria­li­ty as well as art as a pro­duct. The act of collec­ting can be in­ter­pre­ted as a pro­tec­tive ac­tion that ent­ails a cle­ar as­pect of con­trol.

Cu­ra­ted by Da­na Berg­mann

Tags: Da­na Berg­mann, Yngve Holen