JESSICA BREITHOLTZ BJÖRK
8.2 – 9.3 2014 KRETS, Malmö, Sweden
Jessica Breitholtz Björk (b. 1975) often works in series, in which she explores the possibilities and limits of abstract painting – and how these can be extended and transcended. Through a cyclic and repetitive process, she investigates phenomena such as color, light, spatial relations and perception.
In the recent years, Breitholtz Björk has worked with fluorescent paint and its ability to emit light. Spectrum Counterwaves shows a part of a series of paintings that focus on the color’s movements through the spectrum; a gradual sweep through purple, blue, yellow, orange and red. Each color has – in many small steps – been mixed with white, in order to be pushed to its very limit; the moment when the color stops being a color. With repetitive wavy movements she has built up color fields on the paper surface, moving in two opposite directions. The waves run vertically in each work, but presented in the room they also run horizontally across the series – which allows the beholder to follow the color’s process and transformation through the spectrum. The exhibition also includes the video work Two Depths, which, like the paintings, circulates around transition, spatiality and interconnections of things that otherwise might seem essentially disconnected.
Jessica Breitholtz Björk lives and works in Copenhagen. She holds a MFA from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and has exhibited in Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Malmö. Aside from her art practice, she has also worked with music projects such as Majessic Dreams, together with Mats Björk. Spectrum Counterwaves is her first solo exhibition KRETS.
Jessica Breitholtz Björk
Spectrum Counterwaves / Two Depths
1.11- 23.11 2014
Vernissage lördag 1 november, 2014
Jessica Breitholtz Björk arbetar undersökande med färgspektrum, ornamentik, abstraktion och metafysik. Övergångar har en viktig plats i verken, t ex mellan en färg över till en annan, mellan färg och ljus eller stillhet och rörelse. Genom att blanda fluorescerande akrylfärg med vitt uppstår färgfält, som man knappt kan ana och som kräver tid att förnimma, men som till gengäld gör målningarna intensivt närvarande. Det särskilda med övergångarna är, att det ofta är svårt att avgöra exakt när ett tillstånd förändras till ett annat. Man märker det snarare i kroppen, än att man uppfattar det rationellt. Det finns en grundläggande tillit till sinnesupplevelserna som en väg mot större förståelse.
På utställningen visas två nya verkserier. Den första serien, Spectrum Counterwaves, 2013 (fluorescerende akryl på papper), består av överlappande vågor, som rör sig genom färgspektrumet, så att första och sista verket i serien färgmässigt möter varandra igen, där cirklen sluts. Där vågorna överlappar, skapas interferens aktiga effekter, som hela tiden ändrar perceptionen av ytan.
Den andra verkserien, Colour transition plates (blue-green), 2014 (fluorescerende akryl på mdf), är monokroma rektanglar, som i sin helhet avbildar en rörelse från blå till grön. Verken, som vid första anblicken ser nästan identiska ut, förskjuter sig hela tiden färgmässigt i små ryck. Varje enskild monokrom skapar på det viset sina egna relationer till ljus, rum och betraktare.
På utställningen visas dessutom videon Two depths, 2014, där en vattenyta speglar himlen och som bland annat innehåller två olika rörelser mellan yta och djup. Videon är, liksom målningarna, präglad av ett lugn och en kontemplativ stämmning som generellt kännetecknar Jessicas verk. Lugnet i verken gör det möjligt att lägga märke till hur saker och ting hela tiden kan förändra sig och samtidigt vara sig själv.
Jessica Breitholtz Björk bor och arbetar i Köpenhamn. Hon är utbildad på Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi och har ställt ut i Köpenhamn, Amsterdam och Malmö. Vid sidan av sitt konstnärskap har hon även arbetat med musikprojekt som tex Majessic Dreams, tillsammans med Mats Björk.
Mer information: www.jessicabreitholtzbjork.com
Öppet: Tisdag – Söndag kl. 11-15
Galleri Mors Mössa, Husargatan 11, Göteborg – firstname.lastname@example.org
Dialogue between Magnus Thorø Clausen and Jessica Breitholtz Björk May 2012
What kind of work are you doing at the moment?
I am working on a series of paintings on paper in which I build up colour fields with repetitive wavy movements across the surface. The colour fields are built up in two layers, and the waves in the first layer are counterbalanced with the opposing directions in the second layer. The lines are painted in colours that move through the spectrum, just as all the colours in a colour circle, except that these colours are all fluorescent and mixed with a lot of white. The gradual shifts from one colour to the next through the spectrum happens both vertically, down through each painting, and horizontally once the paintings are hung.
This series is a continuation of the project I did called Fluorescent Flow in which my objective was an examination of fluorescent paint – for instance its ability to produce light and its ability to blend with other colours without loosing its luminescence.
Why do you mix so much white with the colours that they are initially almost invisible?
That comes from my experiments with fluorescent paint. I mix it with a lot of white in order to push it to the limit of what can be done to it before it stops being a colour. At the end it becomes different shades of white, and that is when something interesting happens, I think – it challenges our perception and demands more time, and presence, one could say, of the viewer if she wishes to fully experience the works. In a way it is like painting with light because there is so much white mixed with the fluorescent paint. The colours become almost immaterial.
These paintings, one could say, are in dialogue with the body, with light, and with ornamentation. Do they also relate to a spiritual dimension?
Certainly, because the fluorescent colour in itself emits light – has an ‘inner light’, and because it becomes so immaterial when it is mixed with white. So already there, through its own material qualities, it is in dialogue with some properties with we traditionally consider spiritual.
These paintings are experiments, however, with some of the basic traits of painting; line, colour, light, size, movement, rhythm etc. The combination of these traits creates these fields that relate to us physically and perceptually, because they let us experience colour, light, and space. These are all immaterial phenomena that we are dealing with, and in themselves they contain a dialogue with a kind of spiritual dimension, because they pose questions related to existence, duration, and the material world. In this way as well, I think they relate to a spiritual dimension.
The repetitive ornamentation of the wavy lines could perhaps also be put in connection with some of the spiritual traditions (for instance the mantras used in connection with Buddhist meditation etc.) in which repetition is used to enter into transcendental states and to gain contact with a spiritual world. It is not, however, something I consciously use when I paint. To me repetition has another function, which is rather to make the transitions from one colour to the next very slow and delicate.
Is beauty a criterion for your work? Is it important that we experience these paintings as something beautiful?
The experience of beauty is interesting, because it is related to our emotions, it sparks our emotions, and emotions are, I think, an important part of the perception of an artwork. I cannot really say though, that it has been an objective with these works to evoke an experience of beauty, or that it should somehow be conditional for my works. I want the painting to bring the viewer into a space that she is perhaps unaccustomed to, a space constructed from these very simple elements which we can immediately relate to; light, colour, spatial relations, movement, a vibrating rhythm, a space wherein it is of course perfectly o.k. to experience beauty – if that is what you get from looking at these works. But it is not important in the sense that I should somehow try to push the experience in that specific direction.
Are these paintings in fact also drawings? Are they perhaps a mix of drawing of painting
Yes, in a way they are. These works are inspired by a series of drawings that I did a couple of years ago and which played with lines in a way that is similar to what these paintings now do – letting the movement of the initial line reproduce itself across the surface and in this way so to speak weave together a field of colour and motion. I have used the drawings as a kind of models for the paintings.
Perhaps as well they are a kind of drawings because the lines do not pretend to be anything other than what I consider them to be: signs of the movements of a hand / a body in space. At the same time though the lines are the carriers of the colours, which brings about issues related to painting, and it is mainly these issues that preoccupy me. So I guess, as you say, that they are a mixture of both.
One thing that is important, I think, is that you are able to see that the lines are done by hand, and not mechanically, because I think that this link to the body makes it easier for the viewer to relate to the pieces physically, more directly. It would be a completely different experience had these lines been traced by a machine. It is more organic, and I think that the body registers this, and that we take it in differently. Perhaps it brings a little bit of sensuality to the pieces, or at least something that addresses the way we sense things. And that is a good thing, I think, because the paintings are otherwise fairly ephemeral, atmospheric, or immaterial.