LasseAF
(Photo courtesy of Lasse Antonsen)

Painter extraordinaire and friend Marcia Cannistraro (to whom I will always be indebted for giving me her studio when she moved out of Boston) stopped by this weekend and introduced me to Lasse Antonsen. Lasse’s exhibit, The Continuous Translation, was completing its run at the Artist’s Foundation Gallery at the Distillery, just up the street from my studio space.

Here is a description of that installation from an interview with Lasse on Artspace@16:

The Boston exhibition consist of two walls filled with white flowers and plants hanging upside down, floor to ceiling, with a narrow text fragment by Victor Segalen on the bottom, which reads:

“Upon a ladder of steps made of artifice and skill, would not the highest rung be to express one’s vision by an instantaneous, continuous translation that would echo one’s presence…”

A third wall in the gallery presents flowers similar to the ones in this exhibition, where the dye from the plants has bled through, resulting in subtle, pastel colors.

The tags on the flowers in this exhibition read:

“…there is perhaps another shock, from the traveler to the object of his gaze, which rebounds and makes what he sees vibrate.”

Entering that small and very white room, I had an initial response of taking a sudden breath in. But quickly the breath-holding gave way to a sense of being in a strange and beautiful flow—one that was haunting yet comforting, welcoming and yet slightly alien, full of life force and yet funereal, suggesting silence and yet mellifluously toned.

I actually like when words can’t capture an experience. And they don’t.

Here’s one more Lasse observation from the same interview. This hints at the larger arc of his overall project:

Wherever an object is situated, layers of meaning are embedded in it. By recontextualising—by creating an installation or a scenario—new meaning is established.

And as if The Continuous Translation wasn’t enough in and of itself: Turns out Lasse is also a leading expert and friend to fellow Danish artist Per Kirkeby. (A review of Kirkeby’s current exhibition at the Tate is posted here on Slow Painting.) In a major essay written by Robert Storr about the Kirkeby show in Tate etc. magazine, Lasse is referenced as a major source.

More about that anon.

For more information and images by Lasse, visit his website.

Lasse1
(Photo courtesy of Lasse Antonsen)

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