30 November – 22 December 2012
Prospero refers to the title role of Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, a magician spellbound by his own books. And spellbound is indeed what you are by the English artist Jonathan Callan’s new works at Martin Asbæk Gallery. A recurring feature of the works is the use of books and paper as a sculptural medium. In a number of the works Callan screws, glues and rolls books together so they form a large, solid mass. Some have a kind of plastic poured over them so they are experienced rather like marble sculptures. Others stand as gigantic wall objects consisting of plywood sheets perforated by rolled-up books.
Callan works in a strictly conceptual way. He is greatly inspired by the history of British literature and considers the printed words of the book to be a filter against the world. In his works he makes use of pages from books found in second-hand bookshops, flea markets and old storage shelves.
Particularly in the work Island, consisting of twenty works presented in a large square, Callan works with single pages from several books, all showing drawings of an island, where the surrounding narrative has been ground away with sandpaper. The dust from the process has been re-used to paint the shadow of the island. so that it seems to float on the otherwise blank paper.
Jonathan Callan is represented in a number of private collections in Europe, the USA, Korea and Japan, and in public collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA; The British Museum, UK; Progressive Art Collection Ohio, USA. Despite innumerable exhibitions, this is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Denmark.
Welcome to the opening, Friday 30 November, 5 – 7 pm.