Views on recent artworks
Art Critic Trine Ross
In the Western World, we imagine time as a linear phenomenon, an infinite progression moving from yesterday, through today and into tomorrow. This perception of time, however, is not universal. Among the Aborigines in present day Australia, time is regarded as a concentric circle, where the past, the present and the future coincides at points reflected in the landscape and in art.
I find a similar trait in the paintings of Anders Moseholm, where remnants of the past or the future manifest themselves, like a momentary glimpse of a future adult, awaiting behind the features of a child, or a brief recognition of the child you used to know, now hidden in the guise of adulthood. Thus, what has been and what is yet to transpire, or what may possible transpire, is present within the same second. This undeniably opens up spaces and possibilities in the painting itself, as well as within the mental state of the viewer induced by the painting.
Whether they are city-spaces or spaces within the buildings that make up the city, all of Moseholm’s spaces carries stories within them.
Let us initially explore the concept of city-spaces, as it is portrayed in ‘Emotional Architecture,’ (150×200) 2017 where a tower emerges, like the stem of a ghost ship, and is clearly made out within a cityscape that is being built up, while simultaneously disintegrating. The white contours of buildings interchangeably appear to be a premonition of something that has yet to come, and something that has been, while the darker areas dance between ruin and tangible fact.
The city is comprised of a multitude of cities and points in time, as cities always have been, although this is not usually expressly depicted. It may be illustrative to remind oneself of how different the same city can appear, depending on which part of it you are in, and in what company.
Cities are also, quite literally, made up of architecture from different epochs, and similarly traces of the city of the past may be found either as ruins appearing from below during the process of constructing the city of the future, or less markedly so, in the shape of tiny remnants from the past, when there was an outhouse in the back, when horses were bound along the façade and the dead were tossed in the river. If the gaze is set to infinity, you can catch a glimpse of a distant future, overgrown by the plants we now keep in check in plazas, parks and along the façades. A future in which humanity no longer reigns supreme and all our work has vanished.
Such visions are like images in a mirror, slightly shaken reflections of something of which it cannot definitely said whether it exists, whether it has existed, or will exist in the future. Precisely this trait is found Moseholm’s painting ‘Edge’ from 2011(150x200cm), where it turns out, that the reflections do not match up with the objects they seemingly reflect.
Equally puzzling and maze-like is the motif in ‘Outtrance’ from 2017 (183,5x 244cm), although the premise is entirely different. We have now entered one of the buildings that make up the city, and here the reflections are manifested in tangible double-staircases framing the central ascend towards the space of art.
The element of immateriality, however, remains. Like the dark matter of the universe, taking up most of the space within the room without really being there.
The conquest of spaces, as defined by the walls framing our immediate surroundings as well as the great beyond is the theme in ‘Installation.’ (130×160) 2017. Here, art itself becomes the medium through which we perceive the world, in more than one way.
The exhibition hall, which could be said to be the outer framework of the motif of the panting, is bursting with images of motion: a horse leaps, a woman turns, and a ship confidently sets out and becomes more three-dimensional than its own frame. The world is taken in and new continents are discovered, geographically as well as mentally.
The geographical voyage of discovery is emphasized by the element at the bottom left, where the earth arches, while intellectual breakthroughs are seen in the abstract painting to the right of the luminescent entrance to the next room. Or is this the next stage in awareness and insight?
In front of the abstract painting, opulently, another painting is found, depicting the room that makes up the remainder of the image. Thus, Moseholm points to the creation of art and the space itself, and the voyage of discovery inherent in creating and viewing art.
You can wander into the painting, but as though in a dream, where the mosaic of floor seems to float in a multitude of levels and the ceiling could open into the sky, or whatever may be outside, at any moment. It is not a voyage that allows a person to return unchanged. It is a Grand Tour (in Danish: dannelsesrejse, meaning ‘educational journey’), where both the painting and one’s own perception of it is molded by the journey. And that experience is new and different every time.
That is why you can continue to look at Moseholm’s artwork for hours and hours, without ever getting to the bottom of the painting, and utterly without wanting to do so.
The means of perception and the gaze that Moseholm instills in the viewer, can be taken out into the rest of the world, for it is a good gaze. An attentive, inquisitive and sensuous gaze, that opens spaces and unfolds the world anew.