Thomas Øvlisen

(Perfect) Invisible for Ever Changing

February 20 - March 22, 2009

Opening Reception : February 20, 2009 7-9 pm

Thomas Øvlisen, Going On, 2009 autolacquer and enamel on fiberglass and polystyrene foam 71 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 2 1/4 inches
Thomas Øvlisen, Uncertain Flat Top, 2009 autolacquer and enamel on fiberglass and polystyrene foam 48 x 23 1/2 x 8 3/4 inches
Thomas Øvlisen, Happy Happy Again Again, 2008 autolacquer and enamel on fiberglass and polystyrene foam 48 x 17 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches
Thomas Øvlisen, Hang On, 2009 autolacquer and enamel on fiberglass and polystyrene foam 60 x 23 1/2 x 2 3/4 inches
Thomas Øvlisen, Scared of Life, Afraid of Dying, 2008 autolacquer and enamel on polystyrene foam 11 3/4 x 23 1/3 x 2 1/4 inches
Thomas Øvlisen, Scared of Life, Afraid of Dying, 2008 autolacquer and enamel on polystyrene foam 11 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches

Press Release

Klaus von Nichtssagend Gallery is pleased to present the second New
York solo show of Danish artist Thomas Ovlisen. The show will feature a new body of work including paintings and sculptures using auto-lacquer and enamel paints on polystyrene foam.

All the work in Ovlisen’s new show, whether on the wall or floor, are sculptural. Polystyrene substructures are covered with autolacquer, and finished with a fine, smooth veneer. Throughout a palimpsestic buildup of paint, Ovlisen is sanding back to reveal underlying layers, and then building upon them again. This approach allows for potential accidents in which chunks are broken off, holes are fixed, and air pockets are found and sanded out. These accidents inform the final surface creating a rich texture below the buffed and polished finish. The discrepancy between finished and not, and smooth and rough is key to the work. Autolacquer in its conventional use is intended to create the perfectly smooth surfaces of automobiles. Ovlisen instead incorporates the errors of his hand and the cracks in the paint to contradict this slick perfection, and then makes a final effort to smooth over his mistakes.

Ovlisen’s works are evocative and atmospheric. When in the studio, he translates personal memories and experiences into the abstract. Hints of this process are given away both by the vaguely figurative shapes of the sculptures and the accidents and repair methods left exposed in the final presentation. This work offers an objecthood that is defined by a veneer whose countenance may seem to portray a simple presentation of textures and colors but which upon closer inspection evokes subtler, more complex aesthetic phenomena.

Thomas Ovlisen received a BFA from RISD and has previously exhibited in New York and with V1 Gallery in Copenhagen.