Trial and Error and Other New Works
14 Aug – 26 Sep 2015
Trial and Error is the title of a new series of paintings by Troels Wörsel. In a recent text Wörsel writes about what has motivated this series:
“My painting has always been constructive in the sense that it hasn’t been anchored in reality or in my impression of it, for the idea has always been to achieve pictorial facts built from scratch, as it were. However, during the last four, five years something new has entered my work: an interest in visual perception – in particular in what we actually see the moment we ‘look at something’, and how what is seen relates itself to the picture plane when the picture is a painting. For unlike a photo, a painting doesn’t come about instantaneously but step by step in parallel with the eye’s scanning of the motif.” (Troels Wörsel, from “Painting a motif”, 2015, unpublished text)
In the new paintings the combination of construction and perception finds expression in perspective views of various garden spaces. Yet these motifs are not the whole picture, on a closer look they are in different ways problematized or undermined even: they are painted in an “undefined” way like sketches with loosely defined edges, surrounding them are unpainted areas of white canvas, and running across the motifs are lines, curves and angles painted in black, constructing a different plane from that of the motifs, on a more inderterminable scale. In continuation of some of Wörsel’s earlier works the paintings are made painted almost entirely without brushes but, instead, with fingers, with polishing discs or brushes in an electric drill, with sponges and strips of wood. As a result of these unconventional techniques the paintings seem removed from a personal style (the person Troels Wörsel), giving the gestural impressions a certain neutrality or anonymity, and keeping open the question of what the pictures represent.
In addition to the Trial and Error series the exhibition also includes other new series of works by Wörsel, which are related to his interest in visual perception and how the act of perceiving something can be translated into painting. This is the case in a series of pictures of overlapping blue grids on a white ground, grids that divide a field into smaller sections in a movement between surface and depth, and thereby become a kind of models of how we visually scan our surroundings in straight and curves lines. Another series consist of abstract figures and painted text fragments from an Italian advertisement. The interest in perception of the outer reality is here displaced to an investigation of the limits of visuality, of what is left of visibility when the motif vanishes and is replaced by abstract shadows or writing almost without reference. Fundamentally there is in all of the works in the show a movement from what the picture represent to how it represents, an accentuating of painting’s own expressive quality, its vital presence as painting.