Art at The Scandinavian

Art at The Scandinavian

 

Launching in the Spring of 2018, The Scandinavian host a selecting of contemporary artworks displayed inside  the club house and in the surrounding grounds. The contemporary art programme at The Scandinavian is the meeting of international
art with renowned Danish architecture and sporting leisure, offering visitors a new experience of culture and nature. The curatorial theme for the display is that of the human figure, which is explored figuratively as well as conceptually by the featured artists. In many cases, the human
figure is used as a thematic springboard from which to examine more existential questions around psychology, freedom of speech, as well as human history and civilisation. The works presented are diverse and astonishing in material, process, and style, demonstrating the rich diversity of sculptural practice today. Together, the artworks at The Scandinavian challenge visitors to expand the way they think about the medium of sculpture, and how its materiality can convey the richness and complexities of the human form and spirit. installation, and film, and draws inspiration
from nature, spirituality and the everyday to create playful works that blur the boundary between fiction and reality.

Ugo Rondinone, the thoughtful (2015)
Bluestone and stainless steel
653 x 198 x 94cm

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T I S T

Ugo Rondinone (born 1964) is a Swiss-born mixed-media artist living and working in New York. His practice spans sculpture, paintings,installation, and film, and draws inspiration from nature, spirituality and the everyday to create playful works that blur the boundary between fiction and reality.

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T W O R K

Situated in this open-air, natural habitat, the thoughtful seems to emerge from primitive times, as if excavated from a bygone prehistoric era. Its primal appearance is further enhanced by the natural finish of the stones which are roughly and minimally chipped away at, revealing the stone’s erosion by time and the elements. This contemporary artwork mimics the vernacular of Stone Henge; a monument by the first men, reimagined by a man of today. The bluestone used by Rondinone also evokes the origin of sculpture, naturally formed from sand-sized minerals dating from 350 million years ago.
The thoughtful echoes the history of mankind in its pre-historic physicality, as well as to the human spirit of creation and ambition.

Ugo Rondinone, nude (xxxxxxxx) (2011)
Wax and earth pigments
77 × 128 × 59 cm

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T W O R K

Rondinone’s mannequin-like nude (xxxxxxxx) is a contemporary reworking of the canonical female nude, one of the most enduring and timeless subjects of Western art history. The female nude brings past and present together, referencing centuries of artistic tradition preceding it. Rondinone re -appropriates the subject, using the body as a vehicle for his ideas about human introspection, mood and emotion. By using figuration – making the figure appear life-like – Rondinone invites us to recognise ourselves in the figure. Rather than representing his nude as posed and seductive, the figure is instead shown in a passive mode of reflection and rest, head slumped on its arm as if sleeping, waiting, or lost in thought. There is a stillness to the work, as if time itself is suspended. The viewer can identify the figure which – despite being made of wax – displays remarkable humanity and realism.

Ai Weiwei, Standing Figure (2016)
Marble
188 × 80 × 58 cm

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T I S T

Ai Weiwei (born 1957) is one of the most famous artists to emerge from modern-day China. As an activist, he uses his art and film
work to draw attention to human rights violations and raise awareness of social, cultural and political issues in his native country and beyond.

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T W O R K

Standing Figure was created in response to Ai’s time spent in Greece, fusing imagery from Ancient Greek culture with the artist’s own practice. The angular features of Standing Figure mimic those of the figurines of the Ancient Cycladic period in Greece. Ai adopts this icon of Greek culture and personalises it: the figure’s arms, which are traditionally crossed at the chest, are here outstretched, hands apart. This stance visually references one of Ai’s infamous photographic series Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn which shows him deliberately letting an ancient urn slip from his hands and shatter at his feet, alluding to the wilful destruction of China’s antique objects during the Cultural Revolution. By quoting the Chinese Cultural Revolution as well as ancient Greek artefacts, Standing Figure becomes an allegory for the destruction and preservation of national heritage. By linking human figures of the past and present , Ai’s Standing Figure reflects on both contemporary China and Greece, their identification to their pasts, and their different treatments of history.

Sterling Ruby, RED R.I.P (2011)
Fibreglass and Formica pedestal
Drop: 213.4 x 48.3 x 48.3 cm
Plinth: 91.4 x 86.4 x 86.4 cm

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T I S T

Sterling Ruby (born 1972) is an American artist who works in a wide variety of media including ceramics, painting, drawing, collage, sculpture
and video. Ruby’s work often uses the language of Minimalism to represent human psychological states. His influences range
from graffiti and urban gangs, to hip-hop, punk, violence, and American culture.

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T W O R K

Among the figurative sculptures on display at The Scandinavian, Sterling Ruby offers a conceptual work that conveys different ideas about humanity. RED R.I.P presents us with a drop of scarlet blood, which has seemingly been caught and frozen for eternity. Blood has connotations of life and death, the materiality of the body, our lifeline pumped through our hearts. To dilute down the physicality of the human to this one symbol makes a universal claim about shared behaviour: despite our differences, we all bleed red. Beneath the drop, the Formica plinth hasbeen “tagged” by Ruby with the title, RED.R.I.P. Tagging is a common practice in Ruby’s work that takes influence from gangculture and graffiti in Los Angeles. This work was made at a time when Ruby was also researching the psychological, emotional, and physical effects of isolation and existence within the walls of Supermax prisons. The defacement becomes an index of the psychology behind the creator; prisoner or artist. In this way, RED R.I.P symbolises both the human body and the human condition, simplified down to a drop of blood and words on a wall; an image of entrapment, both physical and psychological.

Sherrie Levine, Pink Skull (2011)
Cast glass
13.97 x 17.78 x 11.43 cm

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T I S T

Sherrie Levine (born 1947) is an American photographer, painter, and conceptual artist. She is best known for her reproductions of other artists’ works, a process known as ‘appropriation art’ in which the artist borrows from or reproduces existing imagery to question artistic authenticity, repetition and what it means to be original.

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T W O R K

Human skulls have recurred in Sherrie Levine’s work since the 2000s. Exhibited in a museumstandard vitrine, Levine transforms the skull from a symbol of death into a glossy, pastelpink object of desire and blushing femininity. As an emblem of mortality, the skull is a famous motif used by countless artists in stilllife and vanitas paintings throughout the history of European art. The skull is therefore in itself a reminder of the impossibility to betruly original. One of the most common deployments of the skull in the Medieval era was to depict a figure holding the skull, which aided in the recommended spiritual exercise of contemplating death. In contrast, here Levine’s Pink Skull is stripped of human interaction in the enclosed vitrine. Levine borrows not only the image of a skull for her artwork, but also its mode of presentation, as if asking whether the traditional display authenticates her work.

Franz West, Untitled (2009)
Epoxy resin and lacquer
215 x 622 x 140cm

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T I S T

Franz West (1947 – 2012) was an Austrian artist who worked across collage and sculpture. West belonged to a generation of artists
influenced by the Actionist and Performance Art of the 1960s and 70s, and used objects to challenge the usually passive relationship
between artwork and viewer. He created brightly-coloured, tactile works that were supposed to be touched, held, manipulated,
typically made out of papier-mâché, plaster, resin, wire, polyester, aluminium and other ordinary materials. His dynamic work bridged
the gap between performance and sculpture.

 

A B O U T  T H E  A R T W O R K

Untitled is typical of West’s buoyant, dynamic sculpture, a mischievous curl of pink lacquered resin like a large Viennese sausage. West’s sculptural works are often a little tongue-incheek in their playful rainbow hues: the associations our mind creates with the abstract sculpture are significant, as West’s work is underpinned by ideas of the subconscious, psychoanalysis and philosophy. The colour pink recurs in West’s work, favoured for its Freudian associations with the body. This work in particular is an homage to West’s fascination with the philosopher
Ludwig Wittgenstein, whose ideas on randomnes s and theor ies about the meaninglessness of language inspired West’s work. The sculpture seems to be a written scribble, cast into a three-dimensional ribbonin space. In this sense, the abstract sculpture represents the body, the mind, and expression in turn.

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