KETELEER GALLERY presents Open the Door, the first solo exhibition by John Kørner (°1967. Aarhus, Denmark, lives and works in Copenhagen) with the gallery. The show, opening on December 12, also marks the reopening of the gallery after a period of forced closure due to the government measures to prevent the further spreading of the Corona virus.
Kørner, who approaches both painting and installation in an unexpected way, is one of the most prominent contemporary artists in Denmark.
In the past two decades, the Danish artist has steadily developed a body of work characterized by expressive colors in acrylic paint on canvas. In addition, he also creates shiny ceramics, glass objects and installations. Kørner, who graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 1998, is, together with several of his contemporaries, a key figure in the revival of painting since the end of the nineties.
Central to John Kørners artistic universe are his ‘Problems’, which he visualizes in a distinct, abstract manner, by painting egg-shaped blot marks or sculpting objects in a similar shape. Some are arranged in rows, as if they were notes on a musical stave. Some are monochrome black, but most are colorful, with hues ranging from psychedelic yellow to purple. According to John Kørner, the role of art is to point out problems, without providing solutions. The ‘Problems’ he refers to are large-scale, society-related problems and challenges, such as war and prostitution.
Remarkable is also Kørners fascination with open landscapes and unobstructed views, which can either be inviting or disorientating, and his references to water, for example in the form of a huge devastating tidal wave. This interest is embedded in the DNA of the artist’s family, going back to Kørner’s great-grandfather, who was a boat builder. It also refers to a childhood memory of the artist, more specific his attempts as a child to walk on a frozen sea, with hummocks of ice that had formed into miniature icebergs.
The role of sport and its specific aesthetic, finally, is also an important facet in the oeuvre of John Kørner. Sneakers for example are a recurrent motif in his canvases. The artist explores sport as a social phenomenon that affects fashion, as well as body and gender issues.
The exhibition Open the Door by John Kørner runs from 12 December to 24 January in KETELEER Gallery (Pourbusstraat 3, 2000 Antwerp).
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Born in Århus, Denmark in 1967, John Kørner lives and works in Copenhagen. He studied at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen between 1992 and 1998. Kørner has had solo exhibitions at Konsthall 16 / Riksidrottsmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden (2019); Helsinki Contemporary, Helsinki, Finland (2018); Museum Emma, Espoo, Finland (2018); Gallery Bo Bjerggaard, Copenhagen, Denmark (2017, 2019, 2020); Brandts, Odense, Denmark (2016); Museum Belvedere, Oranjewoud, Netherlands (2016); Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark (2003, 2013); The Workers' Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); ARoS Århus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2006) and Moderna Museet, Sweden (2005). His work was recently included in group exhibitions at institutions including the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium (2019); Deweer Art Gallery, Otegem, Belgium (2019); BORCHs Butik Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark (2018); ARos Aarhus Kunstmuseum, Arhus, Denmark (2017); Scandinavian Institute, New York, (2014); Palais De Tokyo, Paris (2012); Herning Art Museum, Denmark (2009, 2012) Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2011); 1st Berlin Kreuzberg Biennale for Contemporary Art (2010); Tate Modern, London (2010); KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art Aalborg, Denmark (2010); U-Turn Copenhagen Quadriennial (2008); Kunshthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen (2008, 2018); and the Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2007).