Jacob Dahlgren, Colour Reading Context
Often the best things in life are the tiny moments of kind serendipity, those friendly coincidences which are inexplicable and joyus. As in life, so in art.
In the summer of 2005 I had just finished my first year of my undergraduate History of Art degree. The feeling of generally being completely dispirited with contemporary art, which I still carry with me now, was particularly intense.
In Malmö Konsthall I witnessed something which convinced me of that contemporary art could have the understated power and beauty I was seeking. Very much like the moment I recently had with the Ron Mueck exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, I felt bolstered and reassured.
To wander into the A Foundation, 5 years, 4 moves of city and 2 degrees later, and find the very same installation feels quite marvellous and miraculous.
Jacob Dahlgren’s Colour Reading Context is simply gorgeous. It’s constituent parts may have changed, but it was instantly recognisable as the same piece of work. I worry that to describe it could only detract from it’s effect. The variation of colours, texture and forms is breathtakingly beautiful. Like gazing at the colour charts in a DIY store, the repetition and slight variations of colour is hypnotically soothing. As at the Malmö Konsthall, I felt that to stand in the centre of the installation could be a near magical experience, all the more enticing because it is denied the viewer.
This work perfectly demonstrates that an installation, even if it is quite theoretically and technically simplistic, done well can be an absolutely splendid experience.
Art can be miraculous!
(... it can also be very, very shit, but let’s leave that discussion for another blog post.)