25 May 2014

RASMUS NILAUSEN: PARERGON

Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists
all images: Rasmus Nilausen "Parergon" (09-31.05.2014), Fundació Suñol Barcelona, architecture by Martí Anson, © the artists, courtesy the artists & their galleries / photos by Roberto Ruiz and García | Galería, Madrid. 

In the very moment when we enter an exhibition space, we are aware of the institutional framing and thus perceive art, as Winfried Menninghaus calls it, within an "art scheme". From here, we are schooled to consider every encounter with an object or another subject as staged and guided. In the current solo show "Parergon" by Danish artist Rasmus Nilausen, this relation is reversed: In the center of Fundació Suñol's clean white-cube'ish backyard space in Barcelona his paintings are arranged inside a temporary, wooden house by Martí Anson. Initially built for the Parisian Palais de Tokyo, the so called "Catalan Pavillon. Anonymous Architect", remains a work in progress. Neither walls nor windows are fixed. The roof was attached at a later stage. Demonstrating its imperfection, the architecture's unfinished character creates a level of spatial intimacy and withdraws the artificial distance to the paintings, releasing them from their superiority.

It does not seem to be a coincidence that Barcelona-based artist Nilausen was chosen by curator Frederic Montornés as the first one to exhibit inside the "Catalan Pavillon": As an artist who frequently employs his paintings to challenge both, the logics of geometry and the achievements of perfection [see our interview with the artist here], his art and the house's structure bear striking resemblances to each other. The painting's stretchers are attached to battens, randomly squeezed between two carrier poles and seem to grow into the architectural frames. Small slots in the house are filled with canvases stretched on frames, which are sometimes raw and sometimes painted. Appearing like a bookshelf, these niches suggest a homeliness that is emphasised by details or phrases written on canvases, such as "My teacher says I'm slow, my Mama thinks I'm special". The white walls surrounding the construction appear to be framed by the empty windows, while Nilausen uses the aesthetics of framing and excluding within his paintings. His "Malevich Piece" from 2012 – a squared, black painting, framed with white colour – sits at the entrance of the house and positions the exact contrast to the white square right next to it, framed by the view through the open window.

In his colourful paintings Nilausen plays with motifs, light or shadows, generating compositions that he entitles "The Technology of Painting". Even though his works each have their own little story, they are first and foremost self-referential. Because each brushstroke, each colour, each form investigates painting itself. In that sense, they offer two levels of reading. Carrots in a dark space, yellow outlines, peas, squares, a candle – unfamiliar juxtapositions are being built up and subsequently washed down, smeared, sandpapered. The motifs, often humorously and always accompanied by a sense of strangeness, never reveal their entire secret. This is why Nilausen's paintings are more abstract than figurative: There are only hints, texts, shapes, but nothing concrete.

The term "Parergon", which is the title of the exhibition, describes a supplement to another work. But even if intended as an adorning by-product, Rasmus Nilausen's exhibition has already settled in with the "Catalan Pavillon". It merged into the house, in fact, outgrew it and flipped the power relations: The architecture is the parergon. It serves the purpose of atmosphere, spatial intimacy and creates a site-specific environment for this show.  


RASMUS NILAUSEN
PARERGON
09.05. - 31.05.2014

NIVELL ZERO
(Backyard Entrance of Fundació Suñol)
Rosselló 240
08008 Barcelona

Passeig de Gràcia 98
08008 Barcelona 
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri, 11-14h and 16-20h, Sat 16-20h


Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists Rasmus Nilausen at Fundació Suñol (Barcelona) inside an architecture by Martí Anson / courtesy and © the artists all images: Rasmus Nilausen "Parergon" (09-31.05.2014), Fundació Suñol Barcelona, architecture by Martí Anson, © the artists, courtesy the artists & their galleries / photos by Roberto Ruiz and García | Galería, Madrid. 
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