Love Never, Mikael Andersen, Berlin 2008

Lars Tygesen presents us with scenes that emanate from former times. The viewer encounters scenes and motives that belong to the Rococo and which can be compared to movie stills from period films. The title of the show LOVE, NEVER quotes John Malkovich alias Vicomte de Valmont in Dangerous Liasons (Stephen Frears, 1988): „You see, until I met you, I had only ever experienced desire. Love, never.” One could call it kitsch, the Vicomte would constitute it as true passion. Let us surrender to the temptation, the desire, the ecstasy, the belief in eternity and beauty. Costumes, interiors and the view into privacy are the motifs of the period between the Baroque and Classicism, as a counter movement during which a withdrawal into privacy took place. Instead of the Baroque’s demonstration of monumental power and vigorous dynamics, a more subtle and fleet-footed attitude towards life – combined with courtly-elegant sensuality arose with the Rococo.

Lars Tygesens paintings allow the view into privacy; the beholder becomes a voyeur and is seemingly to be invited to share the implied and secret stories in the works. But these sceneries emerge as a different truth because the stories involve illusions. Individuals are depicted without faces, the white paint conceals what otherwise might have communicated emotion. Love, never. Lars Tygesens figures demonstrate presence and absence at the same time. With his painterly technique Tygesen produces an antagonism between space and surface on the pictorial level. He constantly switchinges between the figurative and the abstract, alternatinges between figure and content in the crossover between composition and decomposition.

Maren Hildebrandt, 2008