24 Feb – 01 Apr 2017
Taking Manet’s painting Le déjeuner sur l’herbe as a starting point, Morten Buch’s new works reflect on the picnic as experience and as a genre, its relation to both nature and artifice, and the possibility of conceiving of it as a general metaphor of painting. In many cases, the source material for the actual paintings has been drawn on an iPhone, and while they are physically very different, the paintings still subtly hint at a digital aesthetic. Furthermore, they have in their openness and lightness a close affinity to sketch drawings and watercolours. Generally, all the paintings relate to other types of images that we use to perceive reality: they are representations of representations and in this sense utterly self-conscious. However, simultaneously they are also bodily and spontaneous in a direct way; grotesque in their semblance of Disney cartoons gone wrong, and wild in the way fragments of images are combined with or dissolved in each other. In some places there are recognizable elements referring to the picnic setting: a chequered carpet, fragments of a landscape, a wine bottle, or a shoe. Yet a shoe is never just a shoe – in any case not the ideal shoe. It is rather a freewheeling creation of form; we might see it alternately as a shoe, a vase, or a formless thing, constantly changing as it connects with the viewer’s imagination. The images are moveable and open so that we may move around in them. They are states of being, moods, or associations captured in a very short yet infinite moment. The soft organic forms and curves give the motives a bodily, sexy, or exaggerated appearance while death lurks in the corner in the shape of a left behind walking frame. The white areas in the paintings, the voids between the forms, are painted on the same surface as the other things because everything is painted wet in wet in one quick movement. All elements are next to each other; there isn’t any obvious hierarchy, everything has its own independent value and meaning, like words in a rebus that are readable from any direction.