NUET - (NOW)
Light art at Funen Art Museum
Thorbjørn Lausten - installations - sculptures - paintings - drawings
Thorbjørn Lausten (born 1945) is a self-taught artist of international calibre and one of the leading light artists in Denmark and abroad. Light constitutes the core of Thorbjørn Lausten's works. In general his work involves the use of powerful bulbs - several thousand watts - neon, sunlight and even the light from a midsummer bonfire.
The exhibition, NUET (NOW), includes selected works by Thorbjørn Lausten from Funen Art Museum's comprehensive collection of Danish concrete art. Some of the works, such as the drawings in the series nuet - det polare rum (Now - polar space) from 1996, are being exhibited for the first time. The drawings depict geometrical figures, such as triangles and circles, painted in clear watercolours. Other exhibits include a selection of light installations and sculptures - all of the works are to a greater or lesser extent characterised by their pure geometrical elements and forms reflecting the precise calculations that went into them. The medium he used primarily is light, but a wealth of other materials such as copper, steel, plaster, twine, glass, acrylics and electronic components also play their part.
Lausten's art is cryptic and people often need supplementary explanations in order to become familiar with his ideas and works. It is in the underlying idea of the work itself that the art is revealed and to a lesser degree in the impression made by the concrete material constructions, drawings and paintings. But it is not necessary to know anything about the background of his works to enjoy their immediate aesthetic qualities.
Lausten's works can be regarded as mediatory links between people's sense perceptions and understanding of their surroundings on the one hand and a number of scientific relations on the other. His art can also be seen as an attempt to build a bridge between the world of sophisticated technology and spiritual values. Examples of this are his graphic visualisations of data collected in Greenland that include data on tides. An important point in this connection is that the visualisations are in part determined by man - designed by man, so to speak. His visualisations are simply frames within which the data mentioned can be displayed. This means that while these data are illustrated with the help of a graph, they might just as well be illustrated by a figure or a completely different type of diagram. Using these means, he directs focus towards the way in which we choose to illustrate the result of a measurement, for example. What we can measure in nature - such at the wanderings of a polar bear, which is an example from the series nuet - det polare rum - is determined by nature, bus we as people choose how the result will be visualised. This could be with the help of dots on a graph that indicate the various positions occupied by a polar bear on its wanderings. Lausten's works of visualisation emphasise that technology increasingly comes to create our reality.
Thorbjørn Lausten made his debut in 1969 at the Artists' Easter Exhibition. He is one of the leading light artists in Denmark and abroad and has also had exhibitions at the Danish National Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and Weisses Haus in Hamburg. Some of his works can also be found in public places such as The Clock in Esbjerg and Hvidovre Light Tower near the stadium in Hvidovre. In addition to Funen Art Museum he is also represented at museums throughout Denmark, including Arken Museum of Modern Art, Esbjerg Art Museum, Herning Art Museum, the Royal Danish Copperplate Collection, North Jutland Art Museum, Randers Art Museum and the Danish National Gallery. Lausten has been awarded several prizes, including the Eckersberg Medal and the Weber Light Prize. He has also carried out research work at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Finally, he was the chairman of "Kunsthal Charlottenborg" for a number of years.