Cologne

Henrik Olesen, intestine, black, red, horizontal, 2020, oil and mixed media on canvas, 15 3/4 × 19 3/4".

Henrik Olesen, intestine, black, red, horizontal, 2020, oil and mixed media on canvas, 15 3/4 × 19 3/4".

Henrik Olesen

Galerie Buchholz | Cologne

What a surprise! Born in Denmark and long based in Berlin, Henrik Olesen is well known as a Conceptual artist whose objects, installations, and collages, which often focus on marginalized groups, interrogate the ways in which dominant power structures and social norms shape human identity, language, and the body. This show, however, did not feature collages or installations made up of photos, handwritten notes, pages torn from books, and newspaper clippings, but predominantly comprised paintings in oil and other materials on wood or canvas. Nevertheless, the starting point for Olesen’s new works was once more the body—a subject all the more urgent now, as the coronavirus pandemic has bitterly revealed to us how vulnerable our physical beings remain, notwithstanding all medical progress.

Inspired by the 1928–29 painting L’homme ouvert (L’autopsie) (The Open Man [The Autopsy]) by Jean Fautrier,

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