“In dark times, the definition of good art would seem to be art that locates and applies CPR to those elements of what's human and magical that still live and glow despite the times' darkness. Really good fiction could have as dark a worldview as it wished, but it'd find a way both to depict this world and to illuminate the possibilities for being alive and human in it.” ― David Foster Wallace
PIERMARQ* is pleased to present Human, an exhibition of painting, sculpture and textile curated by renowned Danish artist, Henrik Godsk. The exhibition includes the work of Ed Broner, Rune Christensen, Rene Holm, Camilla Thorup, Mathew Tom, Ivana de Vivianco and Edward Willes. This will be the first time many of the artists have shown their work at PIERMARQ* in Sydney.
Reflecting on a quote from the American novelist, David Foster Wallace, Godsk’s curatorial concept emerged from his musings on the last years’ period of isolation brought about by the pandemic. The quote referenced above resonated with Godsk’s experience, as he noticed this challenging period fostered a drive for many to create art as a means to connect and remind us of our inherent humanity. Godsk acknowledges how this impulse has united artists in recent times, as well as being an ancient preoccupation for humans to express themselves, share stories, and document individual and shared experiences through representations of the figure. The desire to creatively describe humanity is at once timeless and timely, as figurative works re-populate galleries after decades of focus on conceptualism in the postmodern age. Godsk relishes in this homecoming to the human, an endlessly fascinating and enigmatic subject, never to be resolved.
The artists selected for this exhibition share few commonalities apart from a focus on the human figure as the primary subject of their practice. Hailing from various cultures and countries across Europe and the US, each artist approaches the subject through a different mode of expression and media. Through paint, sculpture and textiles, the works demonstrate unique ways of expressing the figure and what it means to be human. When grouped together, common threads appear. For example, Ed Broner and Mathew Tom look to popular culture for the symbols and motifs to express truths about humanity. Likewise, Rune Christensen and Camila Thorup find insights in the past, inspired by ancient techniques or folkloric histories to express something relevant and familiar. With each representation, the figure embodies the diversity of a unique viewpoint of what it means to be human, as well as the universality of this enduring metaphysical investigation.