Has the depiction of reality become the last bastion of contemporary art and where painting will triumph over other media? Of course the Avante-garde movement had already rendered the genre given to the representation of things – the still life – especially fertile ground on which to experiment with new techniques and forms of representation. Pablo Picasso was not painting still lifes around 1907; “he was making a picture” (Margrit Rowell) and thereby revolutionising modern art.
Morten Buch, born in 1970 in Copenhagen, belongs to a generation of Scandina-vian painters, who combine the legacy of Danish Expressionism with the coolness of American Pop-art. Buch magnifies banal, commonplace objects, which also have a place in the repertoire of still life painting, and produces paintings of enormous proportions: vases, pipes, shoes, and tins. His heavily layered oil paintings reveal a veritable feast of sensuous paintings that confront us directly, carry us along, lull us, but still leave us bemused. As a result of their exaggerated formats of up to 300 x 300 cm, supposedly familiar things become divorced from their familiar and quintessential form and appear alien to us; as alien as some of the bizarre manipulations we see in today’s culture of digital imagery. For this young generation of artists, ‘The Last Resort’ is not a matter of depicting reality, but rather its ambiguous extension into other possible visual worlds.
Kunsthalle Wilhelmshaven is launching Morten Buch’s first solo exhibition outside Denmark and, in cooperation with Horsens Kunstmuseum in Denmark, the second venue between 4.10. and 7.12.2008, will show works from recent years as well as the very latest paintings.