Galerie Maria Lund, Paris
7th May – 18th June 2011
48 rue de Turenne, 75003 Paris
+33 1 42 76 00 33

Danish artist Peter Martensen’s (b. 1953) figurative paintings draw upon American realism, a baroque-like light and a surreal repetition. The use of colors is limited and kept in grayish or brownish tones - all together setting an atmosphere of wonder. The special light in his work also has a filmic character, which leaves a filter and a cinematic experience. The trademark in Martensen’s work is an anonymous man in a white shirt and black trousers. His presence is repeated to an extent of a dreamlike scenario of cloned men without personal or individual features. The men are often gathered and acting in the same manner or situation but rarely with any interaction or relation to each other. At first glance the realism covers up the surreal duplication and the desolate atmosphere, but then the paintings makes you wonder what are the men doing? is it a professional situation, a ritual gathering or something third? Martensen has also made video and experimented with audio projects.

This exhibition, entitled Museum, is conceived as Martensen’s personal museum and brings together several subject categories: individual portraits, museum interiors and landscapes with what are suggested as senior doctors, dentists or other experts. Furthermore, dreamers gazing into the distance or concentrated on a miniature town – possibly the model for an ideal world or the mental representation of a world they could master. In another of his works, two actors are placed back to back, simultaneously addressing the void, ignoring their spectators who are anyway totally withdrawn into themselves - here, Peter Martensen seems to suggest the difficulty of making oneself heard, even the impossibility or lack of desire to meet the other.