“In Otte’s figurative universe the conventional values have been turned upside down. Aspects of reality that are often given a lower priority are emphasized and consequently, at long last, they find their way to our desirable gaze”.*
Galleri Tom Christoffersen presents Allan Otte’s solo exhibition “Stille billeder” (Silent Pictures).
The paintings show human influenced but completely deserted provincial landscapes, which are in a paradoxical state of immediate established and infinite standstill. The large horizontal pieces appear clearly as figurative painting but dissolve into controlled and abstract strokes of paint when examined up close.
Wrecked cars and overturned trucks in an abandoned landscape is the recurrent motive of the new paintings by Allan Otte. But destruction as such is not the primary subject matter. The accident operates as a particular way of telling a story, as the crash stops the movement of the car and forces us to strand somewhere in the middle of nowhere where a hold would have been unthinkable for most. Instead of showing the dramatically period before the accident or the violent moment, where the landscape is actually influenced by the disaster as it happens, Allan Otte decides to point at the infinite time after the accident. The silent paintings consist of a particular duration, which is put forth and given value. It is about a state of stagnation cleansed from changes or influences, which most of all resembles a hesitating calm after the storm.
The “realism”, which at a distance communicates the narratives, is dissolved in many ways. Concretely speaking the overall motive is broken down to painted surface, when looked upon at close. A plane, which consists of diffuse spray painted areas tightly kept at ease as they border innumerable sections, where the disciplined strokes of paint are either horizontal or vertical. When it comes to the landscape, which in the illusion of painting is recognized as the contemporary Danish province, the actual places does not exist “out there” as the sketch for each painting is sampled digitally by an immense amount of image fragments downloaded from the world wide web.
In the works of art by Allan Otte an explicit union of figurative painting and an exploration of painting as media is to be found. By his systematically approach to painting as an independent research and his at the same time insisting on both narrative, subject matter and illusion Otte seems to master both investigating abstract painting and “realism” in one.
Allan Otte (1978) graduated from the Royal Danish academy of fine Arts in 2007. He is nominated to the Carnegie Art Award 2008 and therefore participates in the exhibition shown in estimated European Art Museum until April 2009. Of previous and upcoming exhibitions the following can be mentioned: the solo show “Everything is Good Here”, Galleri Tom Christoffersen and Himmerlands Kunstmuseum (2006). “Go Figure”, Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst (2006), the solo show “Landscape Painting” Skive Kunstmuseum (2008). “Enter” (triennale), Kunsthallen Brandts (26.10.08-11.01.09). “Grønningen”, Bornholms Kunstmuseum (01.11.08-18.01.09). In 2004 Allan Otte became represented at Arken Museum of Modern Art with two paintings and at Skive Kunstmuseum in 2006 also with two works of art.
*The quote is from “Glimpses of Reality and Picturesque Moments” by Rasmus Vestergaard in catalogue “Landscape Painting”, Skive Kunstmuseum 2008.