Gallery Christoffer Egelund is proud to present the exhibition Interplanetary Cabinet, the gallery ́s first solo show with the Danish artist Jonas Pihl.
“Someday we will travel to other worlds, either physically, or - more likely - in a state, where physicality is no longer an issue - and “we” are no longer the “we” we know”.
With Interplanetary Cabinet, Jonas Pihl presents new pieces painted directly on the surfaces of the original big planets from The Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen, which he purchased at an auction a couple of years back. The original swirling pattern depicting the 350-year-old, anticyclonic storm of Jupiter and the atmospheric stripes of Saturn form the background of Pihl ́s intertwining imagery depicting other-worldly but still familiar scenarios. The interplay between abstract patterns and figurative subject matter, such as mirrored mountains, houses and water lily stems, which combine the ever changing perspective of the imagery, thus making the otherwise still paintings move with the spectators interaction. Pihl thereby creates a new artistic expression situated in an undefined place between painting and sculpture, which he has also explored in his recent monumental murals, the largest in Northern Europe, where the painting goes all around the cylindrical structures of two 34 meters tall silos.
The globes in the gallery also speak to Pihl's public commission of a globe permanently displayed on the Copenhagen Airport Metro platform. The bulging structure of the globes in the gallery painted with contradictory pinched perspective patterns creates a tension between the painting, as in the Renaissance was seen as the window to the world, an optical illusion of the real space of the globes, dealing with today's view of the art piece as an object in the world. Along with the globes are flat, circular paintings exhibited on the wall with optical illusionary, round trompe l ́oeil shapes and imagery again corresponding to the real space of the globes. Presented in the show are also a new series of paintings on canvas, where Pihl challenges himself with new subject matter and a more rough, smearing painting technique with bumps and obstructions in the ground layer, depicting mask-like figures in theatre like settings and cabinets of curiosities describing other worlds with alien and still familiar scenarios. A deja-vu from long-forgotten dreams of Jung’s archetypes of the collective unconscious, folkloristic, mythical creatures or aliens from outer space.
The notion of interplanetary travel, which in the not so far future might be the survival of humankind in a world on the brink of ecological disaster - the broad strokes paints a picture of outer space, whereas the idea of the cabinet of curiosities creates a contrasting intimate ambiance of an inner space, also reminiscent of the early expression of Das Cabinet Des Doctor Caligari. Outer space meets inner space, the soul, which is indeed the ever zooming, fractal focus of Pihl ́s work. A dualism between micro- and macro cosmos, how everything is connected in a flow and similarity between big and small, random paint splatter and
deterministic craftsmanship in the detail, chaos, and cosmos- where the two meets to form a whole new bridge to the other.
Jonas Pihl (born 1978) is educated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. He works and lives in Copenhagen. Besides his monumental mural commissions of the past years, his work is included in several art collections - both national and international such as in Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Frederikshavn Art Museum and the city of Copenhagen who has both examples of painting and sculpture of his work in their permanent collections. Besides exhibitions in Danish art galleries and museums, such as Holstebro, Randers, Kastrupgaard and Den Frie, Pihl has also had several international exhibitions in Black & White Gallery, Chelsea, New York, Scope Miami, and The Liverpool Biennial to name a few. Pihl also plays the organ in the Danish psychedelic folk band, Elevatorfører, who celebrates their 10 year anniversary with the release of their fifth album shortly after the opening of Interplanetary Cabinet.