Esben Klemann (DK) and Patrick Cornillet (F) have an interest in architectural constructions in common. Both artists work with shape and structure, but in different media. In the exhibition in Birthe Laursen Art Room, their first ever together, Klemann is displaying a selection of his ceramic works, while Cornillet shows painting.
In a series of grid constructions in clay, Klemann experiments with classical sculptural issues such as density, surface and spaciousness. In the exhibited work he is building structures without a solid core and instead works with hollow or partially hollow geometric shapes with red, grey, black, and white ceramic glazes. It can be experienced for example in the three-dimensional ceramic work where a beam of clay has found its way into the sparse grid construction. Other of Klemann’s ceramic works is rising in space like small fine arches or triangles that create a cavity, and most of all are present as sculptural surface. As a significant part of the exhibition there is a table layout where the works seem to slide together and influence each other. The table functions as an unpretentious invitation to discover completed ceramic constructions, sketches in concrete and other materialized ideas. The process of the material is perceptible in Klemann’s practice, which testifies that everything starts with an idea, and that Klemann lets his work develop in such a way that it is visible in the final work how the material has been formed and sculptured. Klemann is also challenging the classic stucco in Birthe Laursen Art Room. In one corner of the apartment, he adds a large, mutating structure and lets an unpredictable sculptural design interfere with the apartment’s original stucco of flowers and line paths.
Cornillet makes intense paintings of architectural shapes of concrete. He shows us an apparently solid world, but merely fragments of it. In several of his paintings we meet buildings without actual walls, unfinished constructions or uninhabited houses with neither a door in nor out. There are no people present in Cornillet’s paintings, and in many of the pictures a slightly surreal and enigmatic mood rules. A single chair is mysteriously placed in some of the pictures, testifying a possible human presence and at the same time offering an understanding of scale and proportions. The point of departure of his painting is taken in photographs, created by him or found in magazines, online or in newspapers. However, he has never cultivated the photorealistic painting, on the contrary, it is the motifs that has his interest. Motifs that he first processes digitally and then translate into paint on wood. Cornillet applies paint using various tools, leaving behind visible brush strokes and traces from a spatula, he also lets colour fields collide sharply against each other and form abstract encounters between shape and colour.
In the constructions by Klemann and Cornillet something impossible seem to occur, such as when Klemann’s ceramic works fold and are held together in ways that seem unnatural to the clay as material and when paper thin concrete forms in Cornillet’s painting ends abruptly in the blue sky. Klemann makes sculpture that challenge clay as material, while Cornillet’s application of paint and choice of motif, challenge the space in the paintings.
Bio: Esben Klemann (1972 DK) graduated from Det Jyske Kunstakademi in 1990-1992 and from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 1996-2002. Klemann has participated in group exhibitions such as Soil, SixtyEig Art Institute, 2017 (Copenhagen); Kant til kant, Ikast Kunstpakhus with Lisbeth Eugine Rasmussen, 2016 (Ikast); Art 15. (London), and Koldt Vand i Blodet, Bornholms Kunstmuseum, 2013 (Bornholm). Vejen Kunstmuseum curated a solo exhibition in 2014, and in 2009 Bornholms Kunstmuseum arranged the solo exhibition Nye Genveje. Klemann has produced several decoration projects. In 2017 he made a site-specific concrete sculpture to Odder Højskole in Denmark, and later in 2018 he completes a large scale sculpture in a roundabout at Bornholm, Denmark. He has shown ceramic works at the Biennale Internationale de Céramique de Châteauroux, 2017 (France). Klemann has works in collections like Bornholms Kunstmuseum and Vejen Kunstmuseum. Galerie Maria Lund, Paris, represents him.
Bio: Patrick Cornillet (1968 F) is educated from École Pivaut, Nantes. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Other realities, Espace d’art PASO, 2017 (Drusenheim, France) and Collectief, Absolute Art Gallery, 2016 (Knokke, Belgium). He has several solo exhibitions behind him: Galerie Bertrand Gillig, 2017 (Belgium), Galerie Birthe Laursen, 2006 (Copenhagen) and Galerie Birthe Laursen, 2001 (Paris). In 2013 Cornillet was awarded Fondation François Schneider’s talent award in the category of painting. His works are included in various collections such as Lefranc-Bourgeois; Le Mans Banque Populaire, Nantes and Collection ville de Saint-Grégoire. The School Gallery, Paris, and Galerie Bertrand Gillig, Strasbourg represents him.