These defined lines and sharp colors appear to be in the midst of a rhythmic dance to an emotional score. The crucial question seems to be: are they the direct visual translation of sound or the visual interpretation of cognitive perception, in this case that of the Danish artist Mathias Mall? It is no coincidence that the Italians Fortunato Depero and Giacomo Balla spoke of their works as a “complex plastic abstractionism,” a definition that can certainly be transposed to the pictorial creations of Mathias Malling Mortensen.
Different sensory levels regulate our being in the world whereas their ordering manifests itself as a confluence of ever-evolving, lava-like rivers. What matters most to Malling Mortensen is not so much the gnoseological component or the way in which an object or an event comes to consciousness, but something that is closer to the surface. It is a purely aesthetic layer, that is, the one through which what is in front of us, but not necessarily—referring to the auditory sphere, that something can also be distant since the sound is omnipresent—is processed in the first moment of perception, the way it connects to our emotions and subsequently comes to have a psychological influence on us. It is a moment in which there is a complete connection of the human being, understood as unity of meaning, with the world and therefore a total immersive experience, an open sensoriality that flows into the gesture of form. Finally, it is a moment that generates what the art historian German Wilhelm Worringer, in Abstraction and Empathy (1908), calls “vital activities: modes of our action, ways in which we live out of our own innermost being in the thing we experience.” This is where Malling Mortensen’s intense abstract paintings—eulogy of the binomial positive void and negative void—are born. They narrate sound, since sound is everywhere and one cannot escape from it and therefore everything has a sound—hence the eponymous title of the exhibition.
Form has sound, sound has form, but perhaps that form is in the textures of the brain of the person who hears it? Therefore, the answer to the original question should probably not be asked in terms of a unique choice but rather is dialectical or intricate, since a complex web of references and sensorial stratifications rise in front of the question itself. The more certain and indeed irrefutable answer is that there is movement in sound and music. And perhaps it is movement that causes the visual sense to reach the heights of pure abstraction allowing the lines to vibrate above, in a hyper-thin void similar to the interspatial one.
– Domenico de Chirico
Source: Bjorn & Gundorff Gallery