BGE Contemporary is delighted to announce our solo exhibition ”The Unfinished Dance Floor” by Lars Elling. The exhibition consists of 25 brand new egg oil tempera paintings, and will open on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, from 6pm to 8pm. The artist will be present.
True to Elling’s artistry the paintings shown in ”The Unfinished Dance Floor” reveal layers of dreamlike imagery that conjure reminiscences of childhood, with disruptions of trauma written between the lines. The paintings float between reality and a dreamlike state, almost as hallucination; between consciousness and subconsciousness. The themes of the paintings evoke memories of adolescence, with familiar moments interrupted by unexpected or unpleasant incidents.
The paintings draw association to old and new masters such as Velasquez, Munch, Bacon and Richter, where story and poetry are powerful fundamentals. The figures revealed are complex and give the viewer the sensation of witnessing the emotions of a brief moment with a beginning, middle and end, however not always in that order.
The title of the exhibition “The Unfinished Dance Floor” revolves around a subject central to the artist’s oeuvre, a subject which is continuously studied throughout his work ; childhood and its prospects when a child enters this world. As metaphorically depicted in the painting with the same title, one can see a couple joyfully dancing on one side of the painting, and as the dance floor abruptly ends amongst withered leaves, an illusion of a figure of a girl falls to the ground. As we are born there is no saying what will meet us in our lives, the floor that we dance on needs constant looking after, and might at any time crack under our feet.
Egg oil tempera paint, famously used by Elling in most of his paintings, dries rapidly and can be applied in heavy, semi-opaque or transparent layers. Tempera painting allows for both great precision and fluency when used in traditional techniques. When it dries, it produces a variety of surfaces, from a smooth matte finish to shiny lush impasto, as we can see in the paintings in this exhibition.