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Thomas Ovlisen, Tomato


Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery
54 Ludlow Street, between Grand and Hester, 212-777-7756
East Village / Lower East Side
January 27 - March 4, 2012
Reception: Friday, January 27, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery is pleased to present Tomato, an exhibition of new work by Thomas Ovlisen. The show will feature paintings and sculptures by Ovlisen, who lives and works in Copenhagen, Denmark and runs from January 27, 2012 to March 4, 2012

The title Tomato invokes a personal memory for Ovlisen. His mother would reminisce to him as a child of her initial disdain for tomatoes which was tempered by her attraction to the brightly colored skin of the fruit. Her love of the pretty outside fueled her determination to like tomatoes, and she persisted in trying to enjoy the taste until one day she finally did. In this show, Ovlisen continues his investigation into surface and form, using polystyrene foam treated with a veneer of auto-lacquer. which is layered and sanded by Ovlisen to achieve a smooth, glaze-like finish.

Two large freestanding and monolithic sculptures ask the viewer to reckon with scale and presence. Other works are actually interactive, allowing the viewer to be an active participant in the show. These works leaning against the wall bring to mind surfboards, in a nod to sculptors like John McCracken and American pop culture, through their shape, the lightness of the foam and the glossy finish of the paint. Each work is lined on the top and bottom with coconut fiber floor mat, and the viewer is encouraged to handle the work , which can be flipped upside down or turned around to reveal an entirely different painting. The result of this interactivity will be a shifting installation of the show, each iteration recast by the last active participant.

The interactivity, playfulness, and approachability of the show is unique for abstract work, it breaks the separation implicit in the hanging of formal works on a white wall, and includes the viewer as a catalyst for actualization. The leaning and spinning pieces are indeed perpetual works in progress, as arrangements and rearrangements allow for a determined fluctuation of physical and visual possibility.

Thomas Ovlisen was born in Denmark (1975) and has a received a BFA in 2001 from Rhode Island School of Design. He lives and works in Copenhagen, where he is represented by V1 Gallery. In May, he will be participating in a show at the Gammel HoltegÄrd Museum in Denmark. TOMATO is his third solo show with Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery.
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