Christian Lemmerz & Lars Top-Galia, Eyescape (2019). Performance at Copenhagen Contemporary. Photo: Martin Marinov
Christian Lemmerz & Lars Top-Galia
The exhibition Eyescape was a collaborative improvisation – a joint creation by the artist Christian Lemmerz and the guitarist Lars Top-Galia for CC’s Hall 5. Like monumental friezes the six large paintings hang opposite each other accompanied by six improvised guitar solos by Top-Galia, created in conjunction with Lemmerz’s work on the paintings.
The exhibition had thus been created over a period of six evenings, allowing CC’s guests to attend the creative process and offering them a glimpse into the private and personal process that the creation of an artwork can be. Like a wordless manifestation of the interaction between artist and guitarist, Eyescape, in its raw expression, appeared as a performative process frozen on the canvasses and repeated in the playing of the musical improvisations.
As indicated by the title, Eyescape was an infinite landscape, an all-encompassing pictorial universe, which with its emphasis on black and white repetitions merged with the sound of the six guitar solos’ symphonic soundscape, in which the individual improvisations became apparent as one moved through the installation.
Eyescape was an experiment in pure improvisation referencing the ’art informel’ of the 1940s and 50s, the so-called informal and performative art which in Europe developed in parallel with American abstract expressionism during World War II. Turning to, for example, ’action painting’, artists created improvised works of a spontaneous and gesticulative nature. The sound of the improvised musical compositions also evokes the free jazz of the 1960s, the heroic guitar solos of the 1970s and the white noise of punk rock, likewise underpinned by free improvisations.
About Christian Lemmerz
Christian Lemmerz (b.1959 in Germany) lives and works in Italy and Denmark. He trained as a classical sculptor at the art academy in Carrara and later at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. Lemmerz expresses himself in film, performance, sculpture, drawing, painting and installation works but, first and foremost, he considers himself a draughtsman.
About Lars Top-Galia
Lars Top-Galia (b.1964) lives and works in Copenhagen. For 35 years he has worked primarily as a composer and guitarist in the rock band Sort Sol. In this capacity he has made something like 10 albums and received a series of prizes and distinctions, including the lifetime artistic achievement award in 2017.