Luce Gallery presents Astonishing Alterations for the Anterograde Amnesic the second solo show by Peter Mohall at the gallery.
The Brushstrokes painting series where the compositions are made through a plurality of identically molded brushstrokes is an examination of the aesthetic consequences of repetition. Recently, the series has evolved into included not only multiplied identical brushstrokes but also, almost identical. Videlicet the same brushstrokes but different in form and length, a reference to digital painting, where you control the gesture but are limited to a constant group of brush tools.
The Flat Gradient Painting series, is build up by around 10-12 thin layers of paint. Each layer is painstakingly painted in oil, smoothed out to a flat surface with soft gradations without visible brush marks, overpainted alternately with gestural brushwork of melted wax and new layers of oil. Finally, the wax is melted again and peeled off. Wax on, wax off. The underlying layers become visible through forms of gestural brushstrokes.
In the age of digital imaging, painting by erasing is a common approach in photoshop; making layers visible by erasing on the overlying layer. These series translate the digital working method to the traditional analog medium of oil painting. Close up, the awareness of craftsmanship is exposed to the viewer. In the first layer of oil, you can see the texture of the cotton canvas, which has faded and disappeared at the top layers. Around the edges of the brushstrokes, you can also see the build-up walls of layers surrounding the brushstroke.
The sculpture series Ab-x incorporates the abdominal training devices “Ab-rollers”, known from TV-shopping. These are being altered by being assembled in the wrong way and, in most cases, a merge of several pieces.
The title “Ab-x” suggests a fictive catchy trademark for abdominal training devices and also a reference to abstract expressionism. The form is designed to fit and support the natural movement of the body, and there is a conceivable parallel in the shape of the steel structure to the gestural language of the brushstrokes in abstract painting, the paintbrush as an extension of the arm. Both gestures are fixed and limited to the relation of the human body.
Though addressing painting in a sculptural form the series also comment on modern lifestyle with body ideal, self-improvement and TV shopping as a phenomenon.
AM: Tell us a little about your solo exhibition, how long does it take to prepare for such a show?
Peter Mohall: The practical work took some months to do while figuring some things out took a while longer. I was also working simultaneously with another solo show I had in November at QB Gallery in Oslo. But if you look at the list of works, most works are finished in 2018 so, January was a hectic month with long days in the studio, 7 days a week, coffee and cookies. I feel I work better under time pressure, something’s loosens up.
AM: What has changed since the first exhibition at Luce Gallery?
PM: This show displays a continuation of my ongoing series of works. All three series were also included in my first show at Luce Gallery so it’s easy to spot developments and the directions I have taken.
The gallery itself has also moved to a new location since my last show.
AM: Tell us more about the sculpture series Ab-x, how did this idea come about, training devices presented at your exhibition were purchased with the help of tv-shopping?
PM: I didn’t buy the training devices directly through TV-Shop. But, the images from the TV-shop ads have burned into my retina forever. I can’t remember exactly how I came up with the idea. But, I guess my art set mind-linked together the formed steel tubes with postmodern sculptures. Also, I was working on a series of painting then, made from the rubber floor that you see at the gyms. So I was already in the context of physical exercise.
AM: Is it possible to say that the colors of the smears that you use in your paintings speak about mood or is it something else?
PM: For me, colour itself is a complex standalone thing. I spend a significant time on combining them.
AM: The most significant moment in your artistic career.
PM: I won a drawing contest in 3rd grade.