Victoria Miro presents Life in a Box, an exhibition by the Copenhagen-based artist John Kørner, featuring new and recent paintings, and sculptural elements including a climbing frame that also functions as a bar.
A painter of erudite, questioning canvases in which topical content is tackled with various degrees of abstraction and metaphor, John Kørner has developed a wide-ranging practice that speaks beyond the boundaries of the painted image to include installations that transform the viewer’s experience of three-dimensional space. He is celebrated for his ongoing ‘problems’ – egg-shaped forms that appear in his paintings and as sculptures created in a variety of materials, sizes and colours, which allude not to specific problems per se but to the nature of problems as they emerge, are represented and comprehended in the world.
The title of this exhibition, the Danish artist’s fifth solo show at the gallery, refers to the things – physical, emotional, conceptual – that constrain us and the ways in which we attempt to outrun or overcome them. The accelerated pace of contemporary life is a conceptual touchstone across the two- and three-dimensional elements on view, which draw on ideas of altered states and the sublime in nature while investigating the aesthetics and codes of sport as both a competitive pursuit and a galvanising spectacle. For Kørner a social aspect is key, and the exhibition is conceived to invite camaraderie and participation, as well as alter notions of momentum and scale, as viewers move through the gallery space.