Alexander Tovborg transforms Charlottenborg into a church
This summer, Kunsthal Charlottenborg presents the most extensive solo show to date featuring Danish artist Alexander Tovborg. With the exhibition The Church, he transforms the entire south wing into an immersive installation which uses the idea of the church space as its architectural and conceptual framework. Here, the artist investigates the mystery of the church, the paradoxes of faith, and the power of images.
Alexander Tovborg is one of the most acclaimed, innovative and sensational artists on the Danish and indeed international art scene today. Tovborg’s oeuvre testifies to a consistent artistic project in which he insists on humanity. He consistently calls for our contemplation and critical reflection as he pokes at our greed, hostility, mercy and self-righteousness – regardless of whether these things are rooted in the coherent outlook on life structured by a specific faith or based on a completely personal ideology. Alexander Tovborg says:
“Throughout the past fifteen years of my practice, I have addressed humanity’s quest to understand our own selves, fundamentally and existentially, through mythology and religion. I see the church as a powerful custodian and producer of many of the myths shaping the cultural self-understanding that has been and still is the basis of our Western society. Art also exists in the communication of the church’s myths and morals. To my mind, it has helped add sound and colour to the images that many people believe in today. The paradox between the divinely created and the man-made is at the heart of my art and my own self-understanding.”
The exhibition The Church heralds a new direction in Tovborg’s work. Religious tenets are juxtaposed with liberating counter-narratives about faith and superstition, myths and rituals in the artist’s simultaneously stringent and labyrinthine works. The brightly coloured compositions in his paintings strike a tranquil note, offering scope for contemplation while illuminating universal themes such as sorrow and joy, anxiety and zest for life.
The immersive installation at Kunsthal Charlottenborg consists exclusively of newly produced works. Here, visitors will encounter fresco-inspired murals, stained-glass windows and monumental paintings with biblical narratives and subversive undertones. The galleries are transformed into a sacred space that sets the stage for new thoughts, ideas and actions. Director of Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Michael Thouber, says about the exhibition:
“Faith, doubt, forgiveness and respect for our neighbour are extremely relevant issues in our current times as we face a series of global crises that threaten the existence of humanity. Right from our initial conversations with Alexander Tovborg about a possible show at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, it was clear that his works and his ideas on spirituality, the search for meaning and recognition of others provide new perspectives for our time, so we look forward to sharing his world with a large audience.”
Alexander Tovborg is a graduate from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts (2004–10) and the Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Karlsruhe, Germany (2007–09). He has had solo shows at venues such as Overgaden in Copenhagen, GL Strand in Copenhagen, the Rudolph Tegner Museum in Dronningemølle and State of Concept in Athens. His works have been widely exhibited in his native Denmark and abroad, for example at the Camden Art Centre in London, IMMA Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, ARKEN in Ishøj, ARoS in Aarhus, Holstebro Kunstmuseum and KØS in Køge. He has been commissioned for numerous works of public art, for example for the Court of Appeal of Eastern Denmark, the Copenhagen Airport as well as Jelling Church, Tejn Church and Trekroner Church. He is represented in the collections at the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, Kunsthalle Bremen, ARKEN in Ishøj, ARoS in Aarhus and the Museum of Religious Art in Lemvig. Tovborg is represented by Galleri Nicolai Wallner and Blum & Poe.
In Kunsthal Charlottenborg’s app, visitors can find Alexander Tovborg talking about his works, giving you the artist’s own thoughts and reflections right at hand.
The Church is curated by Naja Rasmussen, Artistic Director at Kunstmuseum Brandts, and Simon Friese, Director of Creator Projects.
The exhibition is supported by the A.P. Møller and Chastine Mc-Kinney Møller Foundation, the Augustinus Foundation, the Beckett Foundation, the Lemvigh-Müller Foundation, the L. F. Foght Foundation, the Obel Family Foundation, the Spar Nord Foundation, the Danish Arts Foundation, and the Aage og Johanne Louis-Hansens Foundation.
Join us for the opening of this summer’s major exhibition with Alexander Tovborg on Friday 9 June 17.00-22.00. The admission is free to the opening and everyone is welcome.
16.00 Preview for season pass holders
17.00 The exhibition opens
17.10 Opening speeches
17.30-22.00 Opening party in the courtyard with food from Apollo Bar, beer and wine. Music by Jesus Crisis, Cæcilie Trier, Angel & Atusa. Sponsored by Apollo Bar, Rosforth, Galleri Nicolai Wallner and Blum & Poe
20.00: The exhibition closes
22.00: Thank you for tonight