Andrew Kreps Gallery is pleased to announce Merman, Fredrik Vaerslev’s third exhibition with the gallery.
Central to Værslev’s practice is the detour, and even the avoidance of the artist’s gesture. In his works, he employs marks that range from colloquial appropriations to those that find bedfellows in painting’s past. Placing his paintings outdoors as they dry, Værslev conflates these references with the uncertainty of nature, undermining his own decided actions and moves as the works accrue the accidental traces of weather - like turpentine gone sour, or monochromes corroded into color fields. Filling the landscape surrounding his studio, the paintings become inextricably tied to the environment in which they were created as abstraction gradually expands into the representation of real objects and phenomena.
In his most recent body of works, Værslev envelops his own practice as a material, literally stitching together elements belonging to his past series – striped canopy paintings and monochromatic canopies. Both of these bodies of work replicate commercial awnings, and while at first abstract in appearance, they are simultaneously hyper-realistic, undermining the physical act of painting by giving the impression of being ready-made. These new compositions not only represent a collage of past material, but a transformative moment from simulation to figuration, likening themselves to full-size boat sails without the boat. Situating themselves as an autobiographical conceit, the constituent abstract elements are further tied to a collaborative network of intention, history, and chance.
Fredrik Værslev’s work is currently the subject of a traveling exhibition titled All Around Amateur, on view at Le Consortium, Dijon, curated by Anne Pontégnie, through February 17, 2017, originated at Bergen Kunsthall, curated by Martin Clark, 2016. Past solo exhibitions include: Kunsthal Aarhus, Aarhus, 2016, Museo Marino Marini, Florence, 2015, CAC – Passerelle, Brest, 2015, and The Power Station, Dallas, 2014. Forthcoming solo exhibitions include Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen, 2017, traveling to Fondazione Giuliani, Rome, 2018.