Exhibition dates: 27th April – 26th May 2007
Hales Gallery is pleased to present Ulrik Møller’s first solo show in the UK.
Møller occasionally takes his inspiration from Berlin but more commonly from his native country Denmark and in particular the island where he grew up. His subjects are landscapes and cityscapes and it is the straightforwardness of his work that makes it so arresting. Each of his delicate oil paintings utilise the familiar language of historical landscape painting from his native Scandinavia, in particular the Golden Age of Danish Painting (1800-1880). However, unlike most paintings from this period, Møller’s work is not preoccupied with Gothic Romanticism, but rather the plain and simple aesthetic.
Møller’s paintings are discreetly melancholic with most scenes being from dusk or dawn where an expanse of lake, field or sea leads the viewer’s eye to the horizon. The sensitive rendering of trees, village houses, morning mists, beaches or boats leave the observer with a strange sense of familiarity. The character of each painting has a closeness to reality but the lightness and fluency of Møller’s work gives each piece an ephemeral nature which hints at an underlining idealism.
Strangely, the ambiguity in Møller’s paintings makes them all the more engaging. The loneliness and isolation of each scene draws the viewer in but the work holds no answers. Some motifs used by Møller are reminiscent of an old rural way of life, others an ecological feel; a wind farm or a helicopter spraying fields. Regardless of the ‘mise en scène’ the paintings retain detachment from what they depict. For Møller, his paintings are a highly personal project where each work becomes a place for meditation and transcendence. His adoption of a 19th Century style has the effect of presenting a very modern looking view of contemporary Danish landscape.
Ulrik Møller was born in 1962 in Vester Ǻby, Denmark and now lives and works between Copenhagen and Berlin. Møller has recently had solo shows at Nivaagaards Malerisamling, Nivå, 2007 (Denmark), Skovgaard Museet, Viborg, 2006 (Denmark) and Galleri Christina Wilson, Copenhagen, 2006 (Denmark).