Perry Rubenstein Gallery is pleased to present Folded Thoughts, Danish artist Peter Callesen’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. The show features new paper-cutout sculptures and vitrines from 2008 and centers on the large-scale sculpture Human Ruin. Made entirely of paper this sculpture depicts the shadow of a figure whose outline is formed by the ruin of a temple like structure.

After working with snow, ink, and watercolor, Callesen has chosen paper as his primary medium that he transforms into whimsical, large-scale installations and meticulous paper cutouts. Through cutting and folding two-dimensional sheets of paper into fantastical, three-dimensional objects, Callesen transcends the humble nature of the medium, performing a sort of artist’s magic trick.

Callesen’s paper works and performances bring situations and stories to life that belong to the fantastic realm of fairy tales or children’s games and usually enter the everyday world only temporarily, if at all. In his tragic-comical performances Callesen has erected wooden castles on the water and in a park and inhabited them as a king or black swan. Using fictional characters as a basis for the exploration of public space, Callesen exposes hidden desires and gender clichés.

He often uses plain A-4 paper, a familiar and economical material, as a blank space from which any kind of vision or scene can arise. The blank sheet, the origin, the “empty stage” always stays visible. As such, the positive and negative space created by the cutting ties the extraordinary and fantastic to its material basis. The fragility of the perfect miniature sceneries heightens the impression of drama and tragedy, and of their fugitiveness. Yet, there is no nostalgia or resentment to be found in these dramas but rather, a very subtle sense of humor.

Peter Callesen was born in 1967 Denmark, and lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark. Callesen graduated from Goldsmiths College, after studying at the Det Jyske Kunstakademi in Århus, the Århus Art School and Århus School of Architecture. He will have a comprehensive solo exhibition at the Museum for Religious Art in Lemvig, Denmark in 2009. He is also included in the group show, Socle du Monde at Herning Art Museum, Denmark (2008). Past exhibitions include: Dream Therapy at Kathleen Cullen Fine Arts New York, NY (2008) and Fairy Tale, Leeds City Art Gallery, Leeds, England (2007).

Concurrently on view at the gallery’s 527 W 23rd Street space is Downburst, an exhibition of paintings by Daniel Rich.

Perry Rubenstein

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