Rasmus Nilausen | Read the Image

García Galería presents the second solo exhibition by Rasmus Nilausen (Copenhagen, 1980), who will present a selection of recent works. Through these works, Nilausen continues his personal research into the history of painting, to which he draws attention by focusing on the still life genre. For the artist, “it is objects that tell contemporary stories, through stories from the past”.

The common thread running through the paintings in this exhibition is the interpretation (or the lack of it) of images. The relationship between the paintings and the viewer is established through a series of stipulations where references, quotes, allusions, etc. are entwined, thus creating the possibility of a dialogue between the artist and the person viewing the works. The incorporation of texts clearly emerges to underscore all of this. But it is finally the eye of the onlooker that will determine the scope of this communication, and this may cause misunderstandings, confusion, or interpretations that, although unconnected to the painter’s intentions, shape a part of the process that Nilausen is most interested in.

The artist takes the traditional elements that make up a still life painting to then establish an updated version where references, accidents, and his own interpretations are combined. An example of this is the frame enclosing the image, which opens up like a window to the painted world; sometimes literally, others just hinted at or sketched out. Nevertheless, symbology (a traditional element of the genre) is renewed through the artist’s personal interpretation, imbuing the objects in the painting with new meaning, fundamentally through the use of humour.

Humour and irony are in fact important elements in the reinterpretation of traditional works and motifs, often emphasising the absurdity of the literal or the contradictions of language. In the same way, the incorporation of the accident or of chance to the creative process adds new physical elements that make up the composition of the work or provide new readings.

Nilausen works in series, delving into a single subject, motif, or specific example, but feeding back or making connections to others, above all to his own works, which he returns to almost self-referentially. One could almost trace a line through the paintings, where each one originates in or is related to the one preceding it, but incorporates new elements. Sometimes working on several works simultaneously leads to the emphasis or enrichment of these connections.

Rasmus Nilausen studied at Chelsea College of Art and Design in London and at the Fine Art Faculty in Barcelona. His work has been exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) and the Chisenhale Gallery in London, as well as at La Capella, Antoni Tapies Foundation, and Suñol Foundation in Barcelona.