JOHN KØRNER: Liquids and Lights

JOHN KØRNER: Liquids and Lights




09:24 – 09:24



Helsinki Contemporary has the pleasure of presenting a second solo show of John Kørner in the gallery. In 2018 Kørner had two simultaneous solos shows in Finland, one at Helsinki Contemporary and the other at EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art. Now the artist returns to Helsinki with a new series of timely paintings.

John Kørner is one of the leading figures on the Danish contemporary art scene. Current political and social questions and especially the notion of the ‘problem’ is central for his work. ‘Problems’ represent the inconvenient and the difficult and they are not just something that happens to us, but something that we have a hand in. Kørner has materialised ’problems’ as a series of egg-shaped sculptures, and they are also reoccurring in his paintings. He approaches both public matters and everyday observations with the same intensity and always serves the viewer with a new notion on phenomena we all can relate to.

In his February show at Helsinki Contemporary Kørner will focus on a series of new paintings in which he has explored light and liquid elements. Kørner finds it intriguing that light and water behave equally in openings, and bend if they have the opportunity. In the new paintings he explores water especially in its frozen in-between form, as ice and glaciers to liquid and back again. Change, the transformation of an element is at the core of his studies. The paintings of glaciers are not all white, as one could assume, but bright and colourful. What in reality would be cold as ice, is in Kørner’s hands burning red. The vistas and views in the paintings look like a fantasy but still seem to be from our world. They seem to speak simultaneously of the ice age and climate crisis: glaciers formed over thousands of years are now being melted away by human action.

The visual trigger for the new works has been a series of photos of glaciers in South of Greenland in the 1980s, with pale blue and greyish colours. In reality ice contains the whole colour spectrum, we human only see it in certain lights. This colourful range is what the artist has explored in the new works.

In Kørner’s works beauty and making a statement meet organically. The perception of art, the collective aesthetic experience, and the potential of painting to communicate are at the centre of Kørner’s oeuvre. On one hand the paintings are open and optimistic and on the other they pose us with burning societal questions.

The exhibition for Helsinki Contemporary continues and extends his journey into and within painting and, along with that, also the painting’s physical and mental dimensions. The journey or route taken is visible on the works’ picture surface, in the abstract forms, the brushstrokes and their orientation.

John Kørner (b. 1967, Aarhus) lives and works in Copenhagen. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and has participated in exhibitions since the mid-1990s, e.g. at: MOCAD – Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit; Kunsten Museum of Modern Art, Aalborg; Kunsthal Charlottenborg and Galleri Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen; Victoria Miro Gallery, London; Museum Belvédère, The Netherlands; ARoS Aarhus Kunstmuseum in Aarhus, Denmark; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and Art Basel, Switzerland. He is a recipient of the prestigious Carnegie Art Award – third prize in 2008 and a scholarship in 2000. Kørner’s works are represented in collections including the ARoS Aarhus Art Museum, Arken Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Denmark, Tate Gallery and The Saatchi Collection. His most recent solo exhibitions in Finland were at Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki (2018) and EMMA – Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo (2018).

Thu 03 Feb 2022 – 27 Feb 2022 Closed today



Bulevardi 10, 00120 Helsinki