Bjørn Friborg: Sensuous implosions

af | 20. mar, 2022 | ENGLISH

Matter at Hand, Bjørn Friborg. Foto: Dorte Krogh

Matter at Hand

Matter at Hand – Ten Artist in Denmark is an exhibition created in collaboration with the Danish Art Foundation and the American gallery Hostler Burrows. The exhibition opened in New York in Autumn 2021 and is now showing in L.A, the gallery’s second location.

Matter at Hand is also a catalogue with ten condensed portraits by me, among other texts. I have been given the permission to publish the portraits on my platform. The ten artists are: :

Anne Brandhøj
Stine Bidstrup
Astrid Krogh
Jakob Jørgensen
Bjørn Friborg
Hanne G
Maria Sparre-Petersen
Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl
Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen
Yuki Ferdinandsen

The team behind the co-lab is:
The Danish Art Foundation
Hostler Burrows; Juliet Burrows and Kim Hostler
Curator: Nanna Balslev Strøyer
Photographer Dorte Krogh
Writer: Charlotte Jul
Translation: Dorte Herholdt Silver
Graphic design: Laura Silke og Line-Gry Hørup
Co-editor, US-translation: Juliet Burrows

www.hostlerburrows

Glass blower and artist Bjørn Friborg is one of the Danish artists in the exhibition Matter at Hand – Ten Artists in Denmark, showing at the American gallery Hostler Burrows with locations in L.A. and New York.

Bjørn Friborg has a loud and powerful expression. An expression that is equal parts art and craftmanship. The dramatic titles of his two series, Implosion and Penetration, have wild connotations because to Friborg, life is wild and sensuous. His glass sculptures are beautiful, roaring and seductive – transparent oval displays filled with dynamically twisted life in tantalizing colors. They are also slightly unsettling and provocative, almost like an aching tooth that you can’t stop poking at with your tongue. The sculptures make you want to stick your hand inside and touch, although that feels like it would be a transgression.

Matter at Hand, Bjørn Friborg. Foto: Dorte Krogh

Friborg feels it is important to speak loudly and clearly, to be honest and unpretentious in order to arrive at a genuine expression. His works of art are an extension of his person, of a desire to touch and penetrate deeper and seem to be explosive discharges of personal and artistic energy. He is impassioned about the creative process, during which everything has to come together in close coordination with the different makers; it is team effort, and as demanding and disciplined as any form of elite sport. That is part of the rush: the uncertainty; that split second when the artist does not have time to think or hesitate but simply acts. Glassmaking is an extremely intimate process, emotionally speaking, and according to Friborg it is so euphoric that it compares to violence or sex. Many things can go wrong, and even if everything has gone right, all can still be lost when the kiln is opened.

Friborg is a high-energy personality. He talks so fast you catch yourself leaning forward to make sure you don’t miss anything, even during a phone conversation. His explanations and thought sequences often leap ahead, skipping intermediate steps, so you have to stay on your toes to fill in the gaps. He is in a hurry, has no time to waste. In addition to several projects in the works, Friborg recently took on the position of smeltery foreman at the reopened Holmegaard Værk, the renowned Danish glasswork which has been resurrected in an ambitious and fresh renovation after falling into obscurity and struggling economically for years. Now it is time for Danish glass to reclaim its former position under Friborg’s leadership – a clever appointment as Friborg is one of Scandinavia’s leading studio glassmakers, who has masters every aspect of the craft.

He learned from the best, a senior, hardcore master, who took Friborg under his wing when he came to Sweden in his youth to learn the trade. Sweden has historically had a stronger glassmaking tradition than Denmark, and “Glasriket” (The Kingdom of Crystal), a town where everything revolves around glass, is a hotbed of industrial and artistic development. In addition to his training in Sweden, Friborg has also trained in Denmark and the United States and has developed an artistic practice concurrently with his work as a master craftsman. Glassmaking runs in his veins, and for Friborg, art and craft are inextricably enmeshed in the creation of sculpture that is not afraid to walk on the wild side.

Matter at Hand, Bjørn Friborg. Foto: Dorte Krogh

Matter at Hand

Matter at Hand – Ten Artist in Denmark is an exhibition created in collaboration with the Danish Art Foundation and the American gallery Hostler Burrows. The exhibition opened in New York in Autumn 2021 and is now showing in L.A, the gallery’s second location.

Matter at Hand is also a catalogue with ten condensed portraits by me, among other texts. I have been given the permission to publish the portraits on my platform. The ten artists are: :

Anne Brandhøj
Stine Bidstrup
Astrid Krogh
Jakob Jørgensen
Bjørn Friborg
Hanne G
Maria Sparre-Petersen
Martin Bodilsen Kaldahl
Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen
Yuki Ferdinandsen

The team behind the co-lab is:
The Danish Art Foundation
Hostler Burrows; Juliet Burrows and Kim Hostler
Curator: Nanna Balslev Strøyer
Photographer Dorte Krogh
Writer: Charlotte Jul
Translation: Dorte Herholdt Silver
Graphic design: Laura Silke og Line-Gry Hørup
Co-editor, US-translation: Juliet Burrows

www.hostlerburrows

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