SomoS presents “Songs from Misanthropolis,” a solo exhibition of large-scale works on paper by Danish visual artist Aske A. Hvidtfeldt.
Meticulously executed, teeming with tiny figures, stroboscopic geometries, and visionary universes, Hvidtfeldt’s work is a ground where the artist is a whimsical demiurge of new worlds arising from the unconscious. Nevertheless, his imaginary cosmos doesn’t lack well-read quotes, references to historical art movements, symbols, graphics, literature, films and music.
The surrealist basis of Hvidtfeldt ‘s latest work is influenced by the unique atmosphere of Roy Andersson’s film “Songs from The Second Floor.” There are nods to the work of Magritte and Hitchcock in Hvidtfeldt’s portraits; business men’s busts supporting exploding heads spilling the mind’s visions. The delicately drawn endless meanderings within his tapestry-like drawing of clashing politicians suggest the ever-expanding nature of political dystopia; the cumulative patterns of their struggles remindful of Brueghel’s intricate scenes. The tradition of Pop-art is evident, but Hvidtfeldt also conducts a playful and critical visual exploration of the look and ideologies surrounding 1920’s industrialism, comparing it to today’s “digital revolution.” Works from that era, such as Fritz Lang’s film “Metropolis” and Fritz Kahn‘s infographic vision of “Man as Industrial Palace,” (a great influence on Kraftwerk) are points of reference for his “Misanthropolis,” a playful reinterpretation of Lang’s “Metropolis,” which also became the name of the fictional city in Superman, acting as a microcosm of the world, where global problems were portrayed and acted out inside of this fictional universe.
Aske’s own “Misanthropolis” explores relevant and political topics, applying his unique blend of optimism, wit, and satire.