ZAK KITNICK & FREDRIK VÆRSLEV

Curated by Geir Haraldseth
10 April – 9 May, 2010

PRESS RELEASE:

Johan Berggren Gallery is pleased to present the work of two emerging artists, Zak Kitnick (US) and Fredrik Værslev (NO), in an exhibition curated by Geir Haraldseth (NO). The didactic desire to contrast and compare the work of two different artists is hard to avoid, in particular when the two share a wealth of references and interests, while still differing in methods and ideologies. Both artists have used the physical gallery space as more than just a staging area for the works, as Kitnick tackles the walls and the window of the gallery, and Værslev the terrazzo floor and the carpet. This is not just a simple continuation of concerns raised by artists working with institutional critique, examining and mining the mechanisms of the gallery space and the art world, but a fusing of, and simultaneous critique, of architecture, design, art, and decor.

The first room is directly linked to minimalism and the works echo the concerns of scale and the human body, creating sculptural interactions that also reference a history of painting, both of high and vernacular, and architecture. Kitnick has installed four sets of blinds in relation to the window, creating a sculptural grid that filters the light, obscures the space, and intervenes with the architecture, while Værslev’s three large rectangular paintings all stem from an illusionist insistence on turning the canvas and paint into stone, using methods and techniques that range from Jackson Pollock to graffiti.
The second room continues Værslev’s floor fetish and is made in collaboration with Ståle Vold (NO). The carpet as canvas creates a dialog between Vold and Værslev, once teacher and student, revealing a journey through recent art history, while transforming the idea of the auteur artist into the work of a design team. Kitnick’s fascination with design is revealed in his Donald Judd inspired paintings based on a new design for a brownie tin, making sure to maximize crust. The concept of making life easier through design is examined in the paintings and parallels the idea of progress in painting and art.

The two artists are not timid or discreet about their references or their passions, creating room for questions that reveal more than a mere faithful approach to painting, institutional critique, appropriation, minimalism, or any other art historical trope would. Kitnick and Værslev have an irreverent, yet serious approach to art and the way art is projected and thought of in the world at large, and they brings those ideas and concepts back into the gallery.

1

FREDRIK VÆRSLEV
TERRAZZO (29B, 42 and 14C), 2010
Spray paint and granite effect on canvas
198 x 221 cm

2

FREDRIK VÆRSLEV
MY ARCHITECTURE (Malmö # 1), 2008
LightJet print on Fuji archival grade paper
22 x 28 cm

3

ZAK KITNICK
Actual Size (Wall and Wallets), 2010
Front pocket curved wallets, existing architecture, framed catalog
9 x 13 x 1 cm (each), catalog 33,5 x 26 cm

ZAK KITNICK
Up, Down, Left, Right for Jean Nouvel, 2009
Vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, MDF, hardware
178 x 216 x 46 cm

4

ZAK KITNICK
Actual Size (Wall and Wallets), 2010
Front pocket curved wallets, existing architecture, framed catalog
9 x 13 x 1 cm (each), catalog 33,5 x 26 cm

5

ZAK KITNICK
Up, Down, Left, Right for Jean Nouvel, 2009
Vertical blinds, horizontal blinds, MDF, hardware
178 x 216 x 46 cm

6

FREDRIK VÆRSLEV VS STÅLE VOLD
Swap Paintings #5, 2010
Wall to Wall #01, 2010
Wall to Wall #02, 2010
Wall to Wall #03, 2010
Wall to Wall #04, 2010
Wall to Wall #06, 2010
Wall to Wall #10, 2010
Wall to Wall #11, 2010
Mixed media on carpet, plywood
70 x 90 cm in modular constructions

7

FREDRIK VÆRSLEV VS STÅLE VOLD
Swap Paintings #5 (Wall to Wall #04), 2010
Mixed media on carpet, plywood
70 x 90 cm in modular constructions

8

FREDRIK VÆRSLEV VS STÅLE VOLD
Swap Paintings #5 (Wall to Wall #02), 2010
Mixed media on carpet, plywood
70 x 90 cm in modular constructions

9

FREDRIK VÆRSLEV VS STÅLE VOLD
Swap Paintings #5 (Wall to Wall #11), 2010
Mixed media on carpet, plywood
70 x 90 cm in modular constructions 12

ZAK KITNICK
Endlessly the Same and Different (Green), 2010
Cardboard, paint, SkyMall catalog
77 x 102 x 17 cm

ZAK KITNICK
Endlessly the Same and Different (Blue), 2010
Cardboard, paint, teflon-coated aluminum pan
77 x 102 x 17 cm

ZAK KITNICK
Endlessly the Same and Different (Black), 2010
Cardboard, paint, teflon-coated aluminum pan, box
77 x 102 x 17 cm

13

ZAK KITNICK
Endlessly the Same and Different (Green), 2010
Cardboard, paint, SkyMall catalog
77 x 102 x 17 cm

14

ZAK KITNICK
Endlessly the Same and Different (Blue), 2010
Cardboard, paint, teflon-coated aluminum pan
77 x 102 x 17 cm

15

ZAK KITNICK
Endlessly the Same and Different (Black), 2010
Cardboard, paint, teflon-coated aluminum pan, box
77 x 102 x 17 cm