Misleading Materials

“Language dissolves as a product of love begins” by Mikkel Carl at ANNAELLEGALLERY. 5 Nov – 6 Dec 2015


Danish artist and curator Mikkel Carl is exhibiting at ANNAELLEGALLERY in Stockholm for the second time, but now in their new spacious premises in the gallery area of the city. When you enter the gallery, you are surprised to see big stone blocks hanging on the wall. How on earth did they get them up there? At a closer look you realize that they are not of stone at all, but of fabric.

In his new exhibition, Mikkel Carl works with a plastic coated felt that is used for building sites. The fabric is painted from the back, letting paint soak through the felt and leave a pattern on the plastic. With a range of natural colours, the paintings remind of different types of stones – marble, granite and iron. Carl is not only experimenting with our perception of material, he is also playing with the traditional shapes of art. Paintings on a wall tend to be square or rectangular, but in this exhibition the shapes are as different as the colours of the works. Carl explains that when he works, he makes big sheets of felt and the patterns that appear determine the shape of the painting. It is therefore a surprise also to him how the shape will turn out.

Mikkel Carl lives and works in Sorø, Denmark. He has a long line of exhibitions behind him, both solo and group shows. His works have been displayed in different places such as Copenhagen, Stockholm, Turin, New York, Paris and Rome. His previous exhibition at ANNAELLEGALLERY consisted of anodized titanium plates with amazing patterns in oily and strong colours. These were also on display in the back room during “Language dissolves as a product of love begins”.

However in this new exhibition, Carl says that he wants to reflect about what materials actually are and how they are used, and he wants us to look closer at the materials around us. For this exhibition he remodelled a wall of the gallery, exposing its unfinished state with fillers along the borders. His idea was that by creating this wall he drew attention also to the material that the gallery itself is made of, and a raw and crude atmosphere was accomplished.

On the counter in the second exhibition room stands a flower in a bottle. The softness and femininity of this flower break the uniformity of the “stone blocks” all around. What Carl wants to say with this flower is unclear, but maybe he only wants us to reflect over the natural and unnatural materials available in our world. Regardless, the flower creates an interesting contrast in this exhibition.

To conclude, Carl’s art is simple but at the same time impressive. His work fools the eye and can be appreciated for what it is; paint and felt, or for what it looks like; stone. He opens up for alternative perceptions, leaving visitors to determine themselves what it is that is hanging on the wall before them.


Text: Architerior

Photos: Architerior

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