Michael Kvium: An Eye for a Tale and a Tale for an Eye


Gallery Faurschou Copenhagen

04 September – 08 November 2008

Press Release:


Kvium has a knack for the clever play with language. Imbedded in his titles is the black humour and irony that often characterises his paintings.


One of the striking works of this exhibition is entitled “Paradise”. This painting represents a dog seen from the rear sniffing the barren ground. The landscape is in shades of brown with litter and cigarette buds scattered around. Is this a contemporary landscape painting? Surely it is yet another tale for an eye...


The title work of the exhibition is a 6 meter long tale composed by both figurative elements and monochromes. Kvium’s landscapes are often deserted and are yet images of our contemporary culture in the same grotesque and humorous tone ever present with Kvium’s works. A single characteristic figure; a sunken, balding, elderly with a masculine face and an exposed female breast in front of a grey wall. A blind alley, a barren “dead end” which is also repeated in the juxtaposed brown landscape with the tree trunks and the branches with the numerous dumb twigs. As in a peep show or a particular tickling of the eye, the leaves of the trees above the wall hits the eye in a voluptuous green and in an almost surreal painterly fashion.


There is a multitude of rogue pessimism and echoes of several motives from Kvium’s previous work in this exhibition. ”The Dog Lover II” – a baroque scene with a Chinese looking figure and a dog in a scenic light with a curtain fall. The work ”Terror Mind” underlines an atmosphere of dystopia: A grey and black toned landscape is deciphered as a human head blown to pieces. Yet another image of the victims of the global terror bombings? Or perhaps an image of the terrorism of our consciousness - that perhaps our thoughts make up the real terror?


The exhibition title ”An Eye for a Tale and a Tale for an Eye” is ambiguous. It plays on the double meaning of being willing to exchange ones eye for a tale and having an eye for the good tale. Our everyday reality is full of those tales for the eye – and painting is exactly a media for the eye – from an eye / “I”.

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