Galerie Bart is pleased to open REWIND by Jeppe Lauge (1980, DK). This exhibition is about repetition and continuing to do the same thing, like the constant muddling through and lack of change in the climate debate. Yet it is also about the return of wilderness in Europe as a result of ‘rewilding’: allowing large areas to revert to their natural state. In Lauge’s paintings, different perspectives come together, literally and figuratively.
Birch, spruce and oak are Lauge’s favourite subjects. Sometimes portrayed alone, then painted as a group or to the left and right on the canvas, bracketing an idyllic vista. Lauge’s life-size canvas gives the impression you are standing in nature, while the small-format paintings in the series make you feel as though you are peering through a window, admiring a magnificent view. However, the nature you see in his works is not just a scene.
Lauge’s landscape and nature paintings are compositions constructed from one or often several photographs taken during his hikes through Europe’s natural areas. The designs of the works are the result of meticulous digital editing. On the one hand, this manipulation exemplifies the digital world we live in and the mobile lens through which we capture and, indeed, perceive everything. On the other hand, it also touches on the created and maintained ‘tame’ nature you see all around you. New initiatives to truly allow nature reserves to return to their wild state have found the light of day in recent years. In REWIND, Lauge submits that decline may, at the same time, represent progress.
Another approach, which Lauge interweaves with his perspective on people and nature in the paintings, is that of observation. The title of his book, As One Sees, refers to the individual nature of looking. We never see images as a whole. Instead, we focus our eyes on small pieces, details and surfaces in succession. As a result, small parts of a visual field can be seen in sharp focus, one after the other. Lauge deliberately plays with focal points in his paintings by illuminating various areas differently or alternating photorealistic painting with sketchy suggestions of shapes and colours.
In doing so, he confuses the viewer who cannot focus on everything at once, but he also offers an insight into the world as we actually perceive it. Looking at Lauge’s paintings is like constantly searching for your footing: shifting back and forth between different layers, your gaze is on REWIND.
• More about Jeppe Lauge
14.01.23 / 17.00 – 20.00: Opening solo exhibition REWIND by Jeppe Lauge.
You are most welcome to join us for the festive opening of REWIND. At 17:00 we’ll serve drinks and bites.
REWIND opens together with solo exhibition Bear With Me by Tamara Muller.