Martin Paaskesen (b. 1987) is one of the most promising painter of Denmark.
A Danish Art Foundation fellow, Paaskesen imbues his paintings with freedom and immediacy. Playing mostly on raw canvases, Paaskesen forged in just a few years a singular practice, blurring the lines between figuration and abstraction.
The series Seagulls and the Sea, created exclusively for The Curators, is a milestone in Paaskesen's research and certainly one of his most personal project.
Drawing inspiration from his childhood memories of Jutland, the artist revisits symbols of his identity with a radical and yet playful writing.
Emerged from a vast negative space, the brush strokes are bold, energetic. The figures and shapes strike by their raw musicality. And while using a "naive" vocabulary, Paaskesen creates an upbeat and subtle narrative.
About Seagulls and the Sea
Seagulls and the Sea is the first serial work of Martin Paaskesen. It consists of nine paintings with a minimalist expression and presents variations over naïve figures. The works are in close dialogue with each other and balance between the narrative and compositional. The figurative elements: the gulls and the simply waved lines indicating ocean, appear as an intuitive and narrative procession. Gulls accumulate, the ocean rises, the perspective of the viewer shifts, the ocean swallows the gulls, the gulls win forth. But Paaskesen continually breaks down the consistent narrative and instead he brings forward aspects such as composition, motif repetition, and accumulation. Each painting is numbered. Perceived in entirety, the numbers indicate an order, but they also appear as abstract, foreign elements that furtherly enhance Paaskesen’s dissolvement of the motif. The artist’s characteristic way of painting creates associations to both expressive and minimalist movements in the second half of the 20 th century. Here, the focus too was on the interaction between motif, color, dissolvement, and materiality.
’Seagulls and the Sea’ has the same focal point. The motifs stretch and displace themselves and show how the different elements of painting can be in constant negotiation with each other.