Gales and Gasps

I discovered the work of Kent Henricksen a year ago. After having admired a couple of his pieces at the Artissima fair in Turin back in November i was hoping that my frenetic gallery hopping would lead me to a proper exhibition of his evil and delicate tapestries. Done! The American artist is currently having a solo show at Atle Gehrardsen in Berlin.

0galesandgasss.jpg0aagalleryim.jpgGales and Gasps consists of the usual reprints of Toile de Jouy baroque fabrics, sexed up with some menacing embroidery scenes.

The title of the show alludes to air in motion: powerful storms and what looks like gentle breaths make the protagonists of the Toile move in free fall. Personified winds wear masks and fierce looks, suggesting that even the most delightfully represented fall precedes a collision. Elsewhere human figures are attacked by dogs, surveilled by men wearing hoods and arrows are pointed at their heart.

0fallling3.jpgEvents such as groundbreaking scientific and geographic discoveries, wars and counter-reformations shape the Baroque era, demolishing human assumptions of a stable world order. Kent Henricksen’s figures thus lose their sense of orientation in their Baroque decorum. But also people dressed in contemporary attire are to be found in the historicized tapestries in front of a cloudy blue backdrop – an allusion to present predicament?

On the other hand, falling also provides an opportunity, as the figures are ‘neither in contact with earthly, nor with divine spheres, rather with a space in between’ (Kent Henricksen), in which everything appears to be possible – as in a dream.


I wish the photos could better testify of the exquisite “needlework”, if you have time, head to the images i took of the show and click on “All sizes” then “original size” to see the deatils (example). Gallery images.

Oh! Btw, there’s more craft and art at the Galerie Deschler. Their Crossing Wonderland exhibition features dozens of crochet pieces by Patricia Waller and god! does it draw the crowd inside the usally very quiet gallery! I made use of my camera there as well.