John Kørner: Life in a Box

An exhibition by the Copenhagen-based artist John Kørner, featuring new and recent paintings, and sculptural elements including a climbing frame that also functions as a bar.

A painter of erudite, questioning canvases in which topical content is tackled with various degrees of abstraction and metaphor, John Kørner has developed a wide-ranging practice that speaks beyond the boundaries of the painted image to include installations that transform the viewer’s experience of three-dimensional space. He is celebrated for his ongoing ‘problems’ – egg-shaped forms that appear in his paintings and as sculptures created in a variety of materials, sizes and colours, which allude not to specific problems per sebut to the nature of problems as they emerge, are represented and comprehended in the world.
The title of this exhibition, the Danish artist’s fifth solo show at the gallery, refers to the things – physical, emotional, conceptual – that constrain us and the ways in which we attempt to outrun or overcome them. The accelerated pace of contemporary life is a conceptual touchstone across the two- and three-dimensional elements on view, which draw on ideas of altered states and the sublime in nature while investigating the aesthetics and codes of sport as both a competitive pursuit and a galvanising spectacle. For Kørner a social aspect is key, and the exhibition is conceived to invite camaraderie and participation, as well as alter notions of momentum and scale, as viewers move through the gallery space.

A number of paintings feature running figures, moving towards or away from the viewer, singly or in pairs, through an ambiguous yellow ground. Here, Kørner equates the idea of running with the fundamental experience of life, of moving physically and mentally from one place to another, always on the move. While he often uses areas of white in his paintings to represent empty space, yellow denotes an inner world and a transition between states (his signature use of the colour stems from a motorcycle crash when, having lost consciousness, he awoke to the experience of being in a yellow room). Other paintings feature geometric forms that puncture the abstract field in the manner of doorways, frames or boxes.

Duration 01 February 2019 - 23 March 2019
Times London: Tuesday–Saturday: 10am–6pm
Cost Free
Venue Victoria Miro (Wharf Road)
Address 16 Wharf Road, London, N1 7RW
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