OCEAN: This autumn and winter's major exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Tuesday, July 16, 2024

OCEAN: This autumn and winter's major exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark
Mark Bradford, Playing with the Ocean's Ceiling, 2014, paper and laquer on canvas, 259.1 × 365.8 cm, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Donation: Mr. & Mrs. Diamond og Mr. & Mrs. Braman, © Mark Bradford. Photo: Poul Buchard / Brøndum & Co.

HUMLEBAEK.- Dream and nightmare, longing and fear, beauty and horror. Above and below the surface, OCEAN will be a journey of discovery at this autumn and winter's major exhibition at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. History and the present will meet at the intersection of international art and science.

We know more about the surface of Mars than we do about the oceans that cover 71 per cent of our planet. The more we explore beneath the surface, the more incredible things we discover. If we browse through the image atlas of imagination, we are flooded with ideas, stories and fantastic creatures.

Like all life, we – the humans - come from the ocean, which we both fear and yearn for. It is a reservoir for collective imaginations of gods, monsters and fairy tales, but today it is also a dumping ground and a resource that we have exploited. Despite our insignificant size, man’s negative impact is felt everywhere in the ocean.

Within three main themes, merging myths, history and the present, this thematic exhibition will fill the entire South Wing of the museum. The themes are: The Ocean between Art and Science, The Sublime and Mythological Ocean and The Anthropocene Ocean.

The first part of the exhibition is an exploration of art and cultural artefacts at the intersection of aesthetics and science, such as Anna Atkins' blueprint of seaweed, Emilija Škarnulytė's art film from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico, or Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka's incredible glass models of marine invertebrates.

The following theme, The Sublime and Mythological Ocean, deals with the emotions and ideas that arise in art when man is confronted with the unknown in the Ocean. From statues of ancient gods and heroes that have been at the bottom of the ocean for 2000 years in the so-called Antikythera shipwreck, to the sublime ocean surface of Peder Balke, August Strindberg and Susan Hiller. From visions of strange monsters in Japanese woodcuts to mythologies of sea creatures descended from enslaved Africans in the works of Ellen Gallagher and El Anatsui.

In the theme of The Anthropocene Ocean, ideas of exploration and enchantment take a back seat to human exploitation of the sea. In this section the sea is a transport route for Alan Sekula and Nina Beier, or a scene of destruction of cultures and the environment for John Akomfrah and others.

OCEAN presents works by a wide range of artists, including John Akomfrah, El Anatsui, Anna Atkins, Nina Beier, Caspar David Friedrich, Ellen Gallagher, Susan Hiller, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Georgia O’Keeffe, Jean Painlevé, Allan Sekula, Emilija Škarnulytė og Wolfgang Tillmans.

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