The exhibition Room 2 presents works of

the artists Carina Johnsen and Iben Kofod

Århus Art-exhibition, January 2006


As the title suggests the artists Iben Kofod and Carina Johnsen are highlighting the room. Not only the fictive room of the photograph and the painting, but also the rooms in Århus Art-building in which the works are physically situated. Earlier on the two artists collaborated on the exhibition: Room 1 at Gallery Asbæk.

All the works in the exhibition create a play between space and surface, between figurative and abstract and between illusion and reality. The well-known rooms have been manipulated into empty, cold abstractions. Likesmall maps of a personal universe. The places are devoid of human presence, allowing the observer to search the space of the picture on his own.

On Carina Johnsen’s manipulated photos horizontal lines divide the picture into colour zones. Bit by bit the landscape emerges in foggy, cool and pale silhouettes, slowly getting into shape. On other pictures the empty fields unfold under cloudy skies in faded pastel colours.

Everything superfluous has been peeled off and the delicate, spherical landscapes emerge as gaping vacuum, by which the eye and soul can rest.

Iben Kofod’s paintings take us inside again. To the bathroom, the office, the mall and other commonplace rooms from our everyday life. The colours are coarser: Yellow, pink and ice blue grate against each other as in a collage. The lines divide the room, creating a play between organic soft and strict geometric forms. The paintings invite us into a mysteriously fascinating zone between figurative and abstract, where everything is possible.

Two friezes, one under the other, confront the works of the artists. On Johnsen’s photographs one monotone street glides into the next, interrupted by vertical stripes and tree trunks. Together the pictures make an almost abstract pattern of lines and expanses that alternately marks space and surface. In Kofod’s works picture and decoration are also weaved together in complex spaces. Furniture in strong colours seems to float around at random on a base of Arab pattern. Outside or indoors – the message seem to be the same: The border between illusion and reality is fluid.

Iben Kofod is educated at The School of Danish Design. She has recently exhibited at Gallery Asbæk, Charlottenborg, and Tranegården and earlier on participated in several group exhibitions at Den Fri Udstillingsbygning and Charlottenborg. Space, figure and abstraction are common themes in her paintings, but the cool, smooth and collage-like stile came up after a stay in New York in 2003, which also marked her breakthrough in the Danish Art scene.

Carina Johnsen is educated at The Danish School of Design. In Denmark she has exhibited in Møstings Hus, at Gallery Asbæk and Gallery Image and participated in group-exhibitions at Den Fri, Charlottenborg, and Fotografisk Center. She spent the years 2001-4 in Canada, where she had her breakthrough with several gallery exhibitions. The photographic motives follow two tracks, the landscape and the portrait, in both cases exploring the relation between presence and absence, figure and abstraction.


By mag. art Cecil Bojsen Haarder