In APERY, Nicky Sparre-Ulrich’s second solo show at Gether Contemporary, he investigates the basic questions about art’s authenticity and origin, and its road towards abstraction.
In Nicky Sparre-Ulrich’s works at the exhibition, two central elements are at play; the work with primary and complementary colors, pointing to modernists like Mondrian and Le Corbusier and the Moroccan carpet patterns. In combining the two elements on the image surfaces, he emphasizes the cultural clash between cultures and the invariant exchange and development of language this causes.
Through the use of a variety of different graphic media, APERY takes its outset in the Moroccan carpet tradition and its influence on modernism and back again. With their geometric patterns and the use of clear colors, Moroccan carpets became a source of inspiration for a number of modernist artists, architects, and designers in the early 20th century. The modernists became fascinated with the Moroccan tradition, where an independent cultural area expressed itself visually in the reduced language, which was so central to modernism’s philosophical mindset of beauty through clarity and functionality.
Several modernists were directly inspired by Moroccan carpets, and their influence on art and design can thus be clearly tracked up to the present day. But the influence did not work only one way. The great reproduction and interpretation of the Moroccan patterns in Western culture and the subsequent great demand for the carpets, in turn inspired the Moroccan carpet weavers. Therefore, one can see a clear development in the carpet patterns, which over time have incorporated inspiration from new western visual interpretations of the patterns.
With the exhibition Sparre-Ulrich sheds light on the questions of authenticity and origin, about who we are and where we come from. Is it at all possible to formulate something as being original, when we as people and society are in constant motion and under constant mutual bombardment cultures in between. And is the concept of authenticity in fact a construction whose true definition must be found, as the sum of a wealth of historical exchanges across cultures.