Tell It To My Heart

Jóhan Martin Christiansen exhibits at Steinprent

Friday October 1st will see the opening of a rare treat at Steinprent - a show titled Tell It To My Heart by Jóhan Martin Christiansen. Taken as a whole, the exhibition evokes a collected installation made up of sculptures, reliefs and prints. And materiality - steel, plaster, paper – matters in these pieces. The works are what they are – what you see is what you get, but look again! The exhibition is packed with material contrasts that conjure vivid images in the viewer’s mind. We detect a poetic current sighing under titles, forms and repetitions and gathering into little deltas of meanings and references. Between hard and soft materials, steel and skin, between brutal compositions and emotionally charged planes myriad meanings rush forth.

The title evokes associations with the light-hearted, fun-filled and shallow world of pop, given that the exhibition bears the name of a 1980s chart hit. Yet, when the title is stripped of the pop song and trite refrain and pinned across an art exhibition instead, the utterance somehow transforms, takes an insistent turn with a dark romantic tone, and reveals itself in the imperative: Tell it to my heart!

Jóhan Martin Christiansen has been working at Steinprent during his recent stay at the Janus Kamban artist residence. With the exhibition Tell It To My Heart the artist revisits his old tracks. Refocusing on subjects that in the past were at the centre of his works, e.g. with the exhibition Crazy, Zig-Zag from 2012.

This show at Steinprent has a minimalist clean expression. In places it is reminiscent of everyday building works with steel bars and screws, but it is brimming with aesthetics, yearning, flesh and blood. The constructive element is fundamental to the pieces, which are also about their own creation. The plaster reliefs tell us the story of how they were poured from cardboard boxes, and here the works have become more expressive and picturesque, sometimes bringing to mind abstract painting.

Kinna Poulsen, curator 

(Translation, FO-EN: Marita Thomsen)