I sin nye serie af værker kombinerer Kristian Touborg maleriet som klassisk medie med nye digitale værktøjer og syntetiske materialer til at udforske feltet mellem figuration og abstraktion, mellem oliemaling og digitale modeller, mellem original og kopi, mellem kunstner og algoritme. For Touborg er de digitale værktøjer kunstigt genererede og forstærkede dele af hans kunstneriske bevidsthed.
Fragmenter af Touborgs egne malerier og deltaljer fra værker af Munch og Gauguin bliver i udstillingen behandlet som kildemateriale snarere end som citater. Fragmenterne, der bliver digitalt behandlet og printet på syntetiske stoffer, udgør sammen med iPhone-fotos fra kunstnerens egne ferier de grundlæggende figurative elementer i Touborgs værker. De figurative elementer hentyder til en slags narrativ, en afslører kun glimt, der falmer og glider sammen til drømmeagtige scener på grænsen mellem håndgribeligt og uvirkeligt. Overflader malet i tusmørkeblå og dyb lilla, i perlemor og med strejf af skarpe neonfarver trækker de genkendelige i retning af abstraktion og skaber åbne flader i værkerne.
Emner som lån, tyveri og copyright er centrale i Touborgs værker, der både består af malerisk håndværk og industrielt fremstillet og forarbejdet visuelt materiale syet og klippet ind i værkerne. Figuration and Algorithms udgør et fintmasket kulturelt net – måske et sammenfiltret ét – som personlige minder, forhandling af kunstnerisk intention og kreativitet såvel som algoritmens prioritering af vores onlineliv bliver filtreret igennem.
Kristian Touborg (f. 1987) bor og arbejder i København og er uddannet fra Det Kgl. danske Kunstakademis Designskole. Figuration and Algorithms er hans anden soloudstilling på Galerie Mikael Andersen.
Wall Street International Magazine
Traditional methods of weaving, painting and sculpture transport us back to a nostalgic artistic period, whilst the contemporary context of the work simultaneously grounds us in the present and flings us forward to what might be. Caught between these varying contexts, ‘Intertwined Histories’ the latest group show at Kristin Hjellegjerde London presents an artistic disruption of linear time. While different in
approach, the works of Kristian Touborg, Robin Kang, Julie Stavad and Ana Milenkovic similarly examine the significance and dissolution of conventional boundaries, inviting the viewer to consider potential abstract forms of existence.
Kristian Touborg’s practise involves the merging of physical and digital contexts. By combining the classic medium of oil painting with digital tools and synthetic materials, Touborg seeks to investigate the field between figuration and abstraction. The artist rejects and reconstructs the traditional canvas structure by using his iPhone photographs as source material which is digitally rendered, printed onto fabrics, and then combined with various industrially treated materials to create a textural collage.‘My paintings allude to some kind of narrative, but only reveal glimpses that fade and merge into dreamlike scenes on the border between coherent and fleetingly elusive,’ said the artist. Standing before the work, we are confronted with a sense of instability and fracture and yet, what Touborg presents us with is an alternative to our conventional understanding of completion or a ‘whole’.
In a similar way, Robin Kang’s approach explores the connections between computer technology and the
ancient history of weaving. Her process begins with photographing computer hardware as image
inspiration. These images are then turned into graphics through digital and hand-drawn editing, and
finally transformed into black and white pixels for her Jacquard loom operating software. The process of
weaving involves inserting the yarns by hand, while the loom translates the pixels into a physical pattern.
The works themselves invoke mythic motifs and tribal symbolism, whilst the contrast of vibrant colours
invites a psychedelic and meditative mood. As the eye traces the lines of thread in search of embedded
meaning, Kang invites us to contemplate on contemporary symbolism and visual language.
Ana Milenkovic’s works also possess an air of mystery in both subject matter and mood. Favouring dark
colour tones and a mixed media approach, the artist creates atmospheric, textural scenes that borrow
from the tradition of storytelling. Milenkovic uses motifs and a strong sense of place to provoke the
viewer’s imagination to create their own narratives based on their subjective experiences. For example,
Johann depicts the profiles of two mythic figures facing one another as if in deep conversation, or we
might regard these faces as two halves of one individual. ‘I like the idea of all our developmental stages
being present in us at all times – us as young and old, good and evil, defeated and victorious alike,’
commented the artist.
Also sharing the gallery space, are threeof Julie Stavad’s rusting steel sculptures. The works play with
scale in relation to the human body, and offer a tension between elegance and potential danger. One sharp
pointed pin leans against a wall whilst another of the same shape lies on the floor, presenting alternative
perspectives on the same object. Whilst the sculpture against the wall draws our eye to the sleek
dimensions of the work, the sculpture on the floor possesses an unnerving sense of mobility, and the focus
is switched to the sharp end as it juts out into space. This is what the artist playfully terms ‘the cryptic
double nature of objects’ in which meaning is manipulated by both placement of the work and its given
Through their varying practises, interconnected by the gallery space and abstract narrative threads, each
of these four artists invites the viewer to absorb a multitude of motifs, atmospheres, moods and textures
so as to provoke an interrogation and reimagining of the world in which we live
In his new series of work, Kristian Touborg is combining painting as classic medium and digital tools and synthetic products to explore the field between figuration and abstraction, between oil paint and digital models, between original and copy, between painter and algorithm. To Touborg, digital tools are artificially generated and enhanced parts of his painterly consciousness.
Fragments of Touborg’s own paintings, as well as details from works by Munch and Gauguin are not so much treated as quotes as they are source material. Together with these fragments, digitally rendered and printed onto synthetic fabrics, iPhone snapshots from his own vacations make up the basic figurative elements of Touborg’s works. They allude to some kind of narrative, but only reveal glimpses that fade and merge into dreamlike scenes on the border between coherent and fleetingly illusive. Surfaces coloured in dusky blues and deep purples; in mother-of-pearl and splashes of bright neon, they drag the identifiable motifs in the direction of abstraction and creates open fields on the surfaces of the works.
Issues of borrowing, stealing and copyrights are central to Touborg in his works that consist of both painterly effort and industrially produced and processed visual material collaged into the works. Figuration and Algorithms make up a cultural mesh, or perhaps even a mess, through which private memories, the negotiation of artistic intention and creativity, as well as the algorithmic prioritising of our online presence is filtered.
Kristian Touborg (b. 1987) lives and works in Copenhagen. He holds a master’s degree from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, School of Design, Copenhagen. Figuration and Algorithms is his second solo show at Galerie Mikael Andersen.
Photo credits: Jan Søndergaard