Artists: Mathias Malling Mortensen and Martha Hviid
Exhibition title: Grid Sway Sashay
Venue: Bricks Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Date: June 25 – August 7, 2021
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artists and Bricks Gallery, Copenhagen
A system – a waving motion – a gesture of intention.
Grid, Sway, Sashay describes the transition from stagnation to action, from structure to deviation.
As a musical composition making room for improvisation, or an actor responding spur-of-the-moment.
Bending the frame without breaking it.
A strong light beams both onto and through Malling Mortensen’s works of paper, that like portals control what is let through and what is held back, as a result becoming transformed from its original source.
In the absence of light, shadows appear, gliding over Hviid’s face-like figures. These stand, squinting their eyes, as if blinded by a sun that leaves black spots on the retina – spots that worm and twist their way across our inner gaze, beneath closed eyelids. Like a restless dance, or a dissolving score.
Copenhagen-based artist Martha Hviid (b. 1987) works across a variety of media including drawings/paintings, sculpture and installation. Broadly interested in the diverse ways in which humans sense, interpret and respond to situational cues, Hviid’s practice relies upon crafting site-specific and responsive environments. Applying meticulous focus to the preparatory stages for each new work’s production, Hviid’s practice is research-oriented in its strong emphasis on sketching, testing and planning. Conceptual grounding and materiality both play important roles and thus Hviid is involved in a constant negotiation between thematic content and each work’s substantive formal qualities. A sense of implicit or subconscious communication surrounds the work and Hviid maintains a longstanding interest in the psychological connotations of various object forms and the neurological structures that regulate essential human behaviour. Martha Hviid received her MFA in sculpture in 2015 from the Royal College of Art, London with additional study at the University of Texas, Austin.
Recent exhibitions include: “Dagsrester og Andre Pressede Citroner” with Emily Gernild at Gammelgaard (Copenhagen DK, 2021), “Into The Current” with Friederike Haug at Richas Digest (Cologne DE, 2019) and “Self-Soother” at OK Corral (Copenhagen DK, 2019). Martha Hviid’s work is included in the permanent collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) Library Archives. In 2016 Hviid was a recipient of the Bikuben Foundation’s Studio Scholarship and in 2017 was nominated for the Remmen Foundation’s Art Prize.
MATHIAS MALLING MORTENSEN
Copenhagen-based artist Mathias Malling Mortensen (b. 1980) has developed a signature style of “cut-out” image production by blending elements of painting and collage with a sculptural approach towards the pictorial plane.
His visual language focuses on the essential elements of painting in a way that harks back to the early twentieth century Danish “Linien” movement, as well as post-war Italian Spatialism. Often working with vibrant monochromatic colour fields and layered sections of paper or canvas, Mortensen explores how colour, texture and negative space can be manipulated to produce enigmatic and suggestive compositions. The artist’s work is grounded in a long-term project of spatial research. Alongside his painting practice he maintains extensive visual diaries consisting of sketch-based and photographic documentation. Often focusing on urban architectural details and studies of various botanical specimens, these visual records provide the formal basis for Mortensen’s painterly method. In this respect, Mortensen’s work is best understood as a broad investigation of the intersection between space and affect and how complex environmental cues can trigger a broad variety of emotional responses.
Mathias Maling Mortensen is self-taught. Recent solo exhibitions include “I Look In – I Look Out” at Bricks Gallery (Copenhagen DK, 2020), “Watercolor Memories” at Bjorn Gundorph Gallery (Aarhus DK, 2019) and “You Must Believe in Spring” at Sunday-S Gallery (Copenhagen DK, 2018).