You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen.
(René Daumal, Mount Analogue 1952)
Klara Lilja’s ceramic sculptures grow, and grow on us, as if relics from a world just beyond the real. Following 1900s ceramist Josep Llorens Artigas’ 1079 glazing formulas, the sculptures are immediately captivating in their pastel-bright texture- and meticulous glaze work. From this world, a wealth of figures now emerges – planets, cyclopes, chimaeras, fused body parts, lopped off hands and grotesques – beings deriving from dark-fantasy manga novels and the Rosenkreutz’ esoteric, hermetic philosophy of the 17th century, yet reimagined within a contemporary visuality and episteme.
Defying conventional materialism’s opposition of low/high, visible/invisible, or material/ ideal, the miniature high reliefs recall the mythic Philosopher’s Mountain, from which we recognize the three cyclopes glazed in yellow (the color of energy), green (the color of growth), and red (the color of love). From their position on the fleshy base, they guide us into a thorough defined aesthetic universe. Fabulating, dreamy, yet unsettling and ambiguous.
Klara Lilja (born 1989) lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark and is currently MFA-student at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (graduation 2020). Recent exhibitions include Dryade at Politikens Forhal, Copenhagen (2018), Mountain of Fear at Ping Pong Rummet, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen (2018), and the site-related installation Phlox, commissioned by Creator Projects, at Kalvebod Brygge, Copenhagen (2018). In December 2018 Trojan Horse Press / V1 Gallery published a magazine with Klara Lilja featuring studio photographs, sketches and an excerpt from Victor Hugo’s now more than ever relevant novel “Notre-Dame de Paris” (1831). Philosopher’s Mountain is Klara Lilja’s second solo exhibition with V1 Gallery.