Allan Otte, Naturskildring (avlsarbejde), 2018.
19.09.20 – 24.01.21
In collaboration with Fuglsang Kunstmuseum and Brandts, HEART presents the largest-ever solo exhibition featuring artist Allan Otte (b. 1978). Addressing themes such as family farms, critique of agriculture and humanity’s exploitation of nature, the exhibition focuses on how the artist grapples with the traditional imagery and aesthetic of landscape painting and how he responds to the present-day modernisation of agriculture. Moreover, Otte's distinctive working methods will be highlighted as a separate theme in the exhibition.
Allan Otte is one of the most remarkable painters on the Danish art scene today. Since graduating from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2007, he has captivated audiences and critics alike with his beautiful and startling portrayals of the Danish landscape. However, Otte is not interested in landscapes in their traditional and romantic incarnation, preferring instead to look behind the idyll and explore modern-day reality as it actually looks.
In his works, Allan Otte draws on and breaks away from the National Romantic landscape of Danish nineteenth-century art: the kind of landscape which Danish Golden Age painters such as C. W. Eckersberg (1783–1853) and his students began to venture out into and paint back in the 1830s,and which became popular adornments of bourgeois homes from the 1840s. However, those historic depictions are worlds apart from Allan Otte’s modern-day agricultural landscapes. When Allan Otte offers up his modern version of romantic landscape painting, things are not always idyllic. Quite the contrary. Dead pigs, wrecked cars and chilly robotic feeders are some of the characters that populate the images. Nature is not romantic here; this is nature geared towards production. And yet. In between the grey concrete outbuildings and the large farms, we still find elements of great beauty. Whether it is the blue skies, done with air-brush, the winding country roads or the fields, painstakingly painted with the artist’s signature brush strokes, it is still there: nature as we know it – as something we drive past in our cars, a backdrop to our lives and part of the narrative about our country. And a promise of something eternal that remains part of the picture, even in Allan Otte’s coolly detached observation.
Allan Otte rejects the picturesque and the beautified. Instead, he wants to open our eyes to nature as we truly interact with it, use it and exploit it. Those encounters take centre stage in his works, bringing us face to face with nature in its most brutal and brutally modern incarnation. The results are deeply disturbing, strikingly beautiful and horrifically ugly at the same time.
With his choice of subject matter and, not least, technique, Allan Otte is one of the most radical innovators of painting in Denmark. His pictures have been featured in a wide range of exhibitions since his graduation from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Otte’s innovative way of creating paintings based on sampled collages of images found on the Internet or photographed by himself is deeply original and brings both media – photography and painting – into play in new ways, prompting them to interact with each other. At first glance, Allan Otte’s paintings seem realistic. But their construction and execution reveal their basis in sampled photographs. They only seem realistic at a distance. Up close, the illusion dissolves into a flickering abstraction reminiscent of an overly exposed photograph.
Allan Otte's combination of technique and themes makes him stands out in Danish painting. His use of digital media makes his works highly topical and relevant on today’s art scene, while his subject matter links up tradition and modernity. In his art, Allan Otte persistently points to the possibilities of painting while exploring the controlled, cultivated nature that now surrounds us on all sides
The exhibition is supported by:
15. Juni Fonden
Knud Højgaards Fond
William Demant Fonden
Grosserer L. F. Foghts Fond
Arne V. Schleschs Fond