Installation view: Alexander Tovborg, the symbol has resurrected, Blum & Poe, New York (15 September-28 October 2017). © Alexander Tovborg. Courtesy of the artist and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo. Photo: Genevieve Hanson.
Blum & Poe is pleased to present a new series of paintings and drawings by Copenhagen-based artist Alexander Tovborg, his second solo exhibition with the gallery.
the symbol has resurrected presents a new chapter in the artist's research of the origins and contemporary iterations of symbology, mysticism, mythology, and religious archetypes. In past bodies of work, Tovborg has reimagined a hallucinogenic and erotic first meeting of Adam and Eve, envisioned the lost adolescence of Jesus Christ, and staged a wedding procession of paintings representing the marriage of heaven and hell. In this new series, Tovborg focuses on the New Testament's parable of Mammon, an icon of greed, material wealth, and the quest for power. The artist summons the age-old allegory in response to contemporary socio-politics, a call to his viewer for altruism over ego. With a visual lexicon of esoteric signifiers developed for this particular exhibition and pursuit, Tovborg maps Mammon's possession of humankind. Twelve triptychs are staged as altars, each painting flanked by a duo of drawings. These paintings are created through a laborious process of applying thin layers of acrylic and watercolor to patches of fabric that are then collaged to wooden panel with gold leaf. Each drawing is mounted to a pentagram-wielding golden frame crowned with a cross.
Following the opening of this exhibition, a sister show entitled altars of humanity will be installed at Nicelle Beauchene Gallery, presenting a thirty-three-foot-long altar painting that unites all symbolic components established in the symbol has resurrected. Blum & Poe will publish an artists' book on the occasion of the exhibitions, a polaroid documentary project of Tovborg's process in the days leading up to these shows. This title will be released at the New York Art Book Fair,September 21-24.
Alexander Tovborg (b. 1983) lives and works in Copenhagen. He received his BA from Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe, Germany and his MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen, Denmark. His work has been the subject of solo exhibitions worldwide including Knight of Faith, GL STRAND, Copenhagen, Denmark (2016); The Rape of Europha, State of Concept, Athens, Greece (2016); Bocca Baciata, Overgaden, Copenhagen, Denmark (2014); Teenage Jesus, Hospitalhof, Stuttgart, Germany (2012); and Tre, Museet for Religiøs Kunst, Lemvig, Denmark (2011). Selections of his oeuvre have been featured in international institutional group exhibitions including at the 9th Göteborg International Biennial for Contemporary Art, Sweden (2017); Museet for Religiøs Kunst, Lemvig, Denmark (2016); Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland (2013); and the Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City, Mexico (2012). At Blum & Poe, Los Angeles in 2015, Tovborg's work was included in The Avant-Garde Won't Give Up: Cobra and Its Legacy, a rereading of the Cobra postwar movement, curated by Alison M. Gingeras.Tovborg's work is permanently installed in various public Danish institutions and was recently acquired by the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA.
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