On the 8th of March Galerie Gabriel Rolt opened a new exhibition named ‘Don’t Sleep On Your Moon’. The exhibition is the fourth solo exhibition of Amsterdam-based artist Nik Christensen, who creates sumi ink works on paper. These rambling, often larger-than-life pieces contain haunting imagery that straddles the line between the natural and the artificial, the organic and the mechanized, by interspersing intuitive strokes with pixel-like building blocks. It’s a tightrope-balancing act, which Christensen has made even more explicit for the forthcoming exhibition, juxtaposing man and nature, society and isolation both in his methods and in his imagery. Frantic, kaleidoscopic, enigmatic, disruptive Christensen works leave the viewer dazzled and dazed, yet at pains to pinpoint what exactly makes these works so eerily unsettling.
All the works of Christensen share a distinct aesthetic with the title piece ‘Don’t Sleep On Your Moon’ as a magnificent eye-catcher. This almost two by three metres monochrome displays a group of men sitting at the waterfront in a forest, surrounded by piles of books. The ordered piles behind the men are contrasted by a chaotic heap of books in front of them, just as the wild outgrowths of the forest and its reflection in the water are interspersed with pixel-like blocks of blacks and greys. These ambivalences create an atmosphere of enlightenment amidst wilderness, like a group of post-apocalyptic, survivalist intellectuals sorting through the last remnants of human knowledge.
Nik Christensen graduated from the Rietveld Academie in 2000 and lives and works in Amsterdam. He has had exhibitions at major Dutch museums such as the Teylers museum in Haarlem and the Stedelijk Museum in Schiedam, the Paviljoens Almere, as well as myriad of international galleries. His work is part of important private and corporate collections, including those of the Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, the Dutch central bank DNB, Gilissen Bankers and many international private collections. Major publications include the Vitamin D2 International Drawing Anthology at Phaidon Books and Elephant Magazine and the publication On the Inside of Jokes.
All images: Nik Christensen / Courtesy of Galerie Gabriel Rolt Amsterdam.
The exhibition will run until the 12th of April. Galerie Gabriel Rolt is located at Elandsgracht 34, Amsterdam. For more information see here.