Christian Skeel’s new paintings deal with different corners of the world’s visual presence on a scale from open winter landscapes, waves and tree trunks to other artists’ pictures and film stills. The paintings have in common that they all lead the familiar and intimate, originally photographed, space out to the border where it partly breaks down in visual paradoxes.
The familiar spaces and scenarios are folded into boxes or dissolved to a series of frames that move into the picture, thereby bringing disorder into what is near and far and what is up or down. On another level the paintings combine the photorealistic and almost transparent representation with more dense textures of paint, which points to the painterly act as a material and bodily phenomenon. The paintings are not just snap-shots of spaces that stand still, but also spaces that takes place through time. To step into such landscapes is also to step out into a more disorienting space, where things are misplaced compared to how they use to be, retranslated through a materialized and kaleidoscopic approach.
On the other hand, all these confusing spaces and visual wrong-turns don’t seem to lead directly to chaos. There are in the paintings also a calm and sense of balance, that invite to absorption and make it possible to come nearer the spaces and experiences which lie just outside or behind the objective eye of the camera.
Christian Skeel (b. 1956 DK) is a visual artist and composer and have often worked interdisciplinary, by example he has created the light artwork on the front façade on the Nils Bohr Institute “NBI Colliderscope” (2010) with visual artist Morten Skriver and the physicist Clive Ellegaard. Selected solo exhibitions: "Portraits" (2013), ”Malerier 2009-10” (2010), ”Nærbilleder” (2008), Galleri Tom Christoffersen. As a composer he has released the cds ”Metropolitan Suide” (w. Martin Hall), ”Samlede Kompositioner” (w. Morti Vizki) and ”Short Pieces”. Publications: ”Rejsebog, Vej” and ”Den usynlige dreng” made in collaborationMorti Vizki. Christian Skeel is represented by a.o.: Kiasma, Helsinki (SF), Esbjerg Art Museum, Esbjerg, Ny Carlsberg Foundation and The Danish Art Foundation.
Installationview (2), Christian Skeel in collaboration w. Morten Skriver Split Second 1997 installation Collection: Esbjerg Art Museum Split Second is a video-installation, which consists of 13 monitors and a camera. The placing of the monitors forms a curve. In order to record the visitors the camera is situated in the middle of that curve just behind the monitors. The recordings are distributed among the screens so that image 1 becomes a still on screen 1; image 2 becomes a still on screen 2 etc. This gives you the opportunity to study your movements as if animated in a cartoon, but only for an instant because the stills are left standing for no ore than 1 or 2 seconds. You see yourself in a kind of delayed present. Split Second is made in collaboration with B&O and Anders Lehmann. Split Second is from 1997 and has been exhibited at Esbjerg Art Museum, Arken - Museum of Contemporary Art, Trapholt Art Museum and Kulturhuset in Stockholm (Sweden).
Installationview (1), Christian Skeel in collaboration w. Morten Skriver The Stockholm Experiment 2000-2001 installation The installation Trapholt Experiment / The Stockholm Experiment is a scientific experiment, which investigates whether the audience by using their consciousness can affect a computer. At first the experiment was running for a year at Trapholt Art Museum and then at Kulturhuset in Stockholm for the same length of time. The Trapholt Experiment showed an effect, while The Stockholm Experiment did not show anything. At the moment the experiment is being examined at the Niels Bohr Institute, the University of Copenhagen. The experiment is made in collaboration with Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research at Princeton University (USA) where the research has been going on for more than 25 years.
Installationview, Christian Skeel in collaboration w. Morten Skriver Babylon 1996 installation Collection: Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (Finland) Babylon is a scent-installation and consists of 29 vases placed in line on a row of tables. The vases contain scent oil. Among others, the scents cover tree and flower fragrances, the smell of tar plus animal and chemical scents. They are juxtaposed in order to accentuate the particularity of the single scent. Scents provoke memories from a lifetime to surface – the installation is a memory vehicle, so to speak. The vases are given form by Ursula Munch Petersen, Ole Jensen, Tora Urup and Inge Louise Bach and produced by Royal Copenhagen Porcelain Manufactory. Babylon is from 1996 and has been exhibited at Esbjerg Art Museum, Hessenhuis, Antwerpen (Belgium), Nicolaj - Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki (Finland).
Installationview (5), Christian Skeel in collaboration w. Morten Skriver Interference 2003 installation
Installationview (3), Christian Skeel in collaboration w. Morten Skriver Interference 2003 installation Interference consists of to lines painted directly on the walls of the museum. One painted by Morten Skriver and the other by Christian Skeel. One black and the other umbra. The method was to avoid making compositions, repetitions, recognisable figurations – and to achieve to make room for one another. Interference was shown at the exhibition: Temporary Spaces. Charlottenborg Exhibition Building, 2003.