Emil Holmer - Uqrän
9 April—1 May 2021
Galerie Michael Janssen is pleased to present an exhibition by Emil Holmer, the artists third solo-showing with the gallery to date. Titled “Uqrän,” the exhibition extends the artist’s exploration of chaos and primitive futurism through painting and mixed media works.
Within the abstract tradition, “Uqrän” moves away from easily discernable, static meaning. Instead, the surfaces of Holmer’s paintings gaze inward, inching closer and closer to their membrane, zooming into the molecular level with an almost scientific gaze. Enlarging forms and signs mechanically with a scanner or via digital manipulation, Holmer often begins his compositions with the computer. Copy, prime, sand, distort, bend, repeat. This methodology opens up a sci-fi portal where the past gets juxtaposed against the future, though the process starts with the artist’s body and the materials that abound. Works like Mär-Icq (Mixed media on canvas, 2020) hint towards an inter-galactic navigation. A yellow screen-print overlays layers of other celestial washes of deep purple and navy. The standard, rectangular geometric edges of a painting fuzz and blend so that the surface begins to resemble a portal rather than what we normally recognize as a picture. As the artist notes, the new works leave behind their earth-bounded nature through a process that embraces total automation. The less grounded, the more alien the works become. The more alien, the more visceral and fleshier the forms begin to appear. It is through this paradoxical “unearthing” of the material related to the digital that we can begin to surf the uncanny.
“Uqrän” will unveil seven new, large-scale works completed by the artist in 2020 and 2021. The exhibition will open on April 9th with a digital walk-though that will be available on the gallery’s website.
Text: Vanessa Gravenor
Emil Holmer, Uqrän, Installation view, 2021, michaeljanssen.gallery