The idea for the exhibition at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND came shortly after Gjerdevik was invited to do the exhibition. He could neither keep the 30-year-old, silver-grey Volvo 240 that he had inherited nor bring himself to scrap it, and he therefore decided to drive the car from England to the Danish Art Workshops in Denmark. Here he took the car apart and deconstructed it, giving it new life as material for a series of new sculptures.
‘It is the tangible parts of the car that appear in my sculptures. I am not really interested in the engine. It is the gear stick, the glove compartment, the seat, the front, the bonnet, one of the wheels. It should be fun and surprising, while at the same time being something everyone is familiar with and can relate to’, says Asger Harbou Gjerdevik.
Movement is a keyword in Asger Harbou Gjerdevik’s new solo exhibition. From the outset Gjerdevik decided to create a dynamic exhibition in dialogue with the elongated shape of the exhibition space, where the position and expression of the works encourage the visitor to move through the room. The sculptures will be positioned to ensure that each sculpture and car item relates to the car’s original functional circuit. Add to this a series of new paintings that will attract the attention of the visitor along and across the room. For the exhibition, which has been entitled Driving Home for Christmas, Gjerdevik has developed new paintings that work as a sort of music album. Each painting has its own meaning, but at the same time they are related and all part of an overall atmosphere. The composite compositions are based on the flickering impressions that life and especially the journey in the Volvo from England to Denmark have left in the artist. For his highly collage-inspired compositions Gjerdevik has found inspiration in role models such as the beat artist Williams S. Burroughs’ cut up technique, Italian Proto-Renaissance painters like Giotto and Medieval frescos with their anti-hierarchical form.
Gjerdevik is fascinated by the meeting between elements that are easy for us to decode and recognise and all the things that we do not immediately recognise and which seem obscure and abstract. At times, the same figures appear in several of his pictures because they hold great symbolic value, but most often Gjerdevik changes their meaning by combining them with new scenes. Oppositions and meetings between diverse materials and scenes not only expand the space of the paintings, but also put the exhibited works into motion vis-à-vis each other.
The exhibition Asger Harbou Gjerdevik. Driving Home for Christmas will be shown at Kunstforeningen GL STRAND from 27 April to 19 June 2019.
On the occasion of the exhibition Kunstforeningen GL STRAND will publish an illustrated publication with photos from the exhibition and an interview with the artist by Curator Pernille Fonnesbech. Kunstforeningen GL STRAND will also produce a video interview with Asger Harbou Gjerdevik on his work in general and the exhibition in particular. The interview will be shown in connection with the exhibition.