Jakob Jørgensen: The sensuousness of steel

af | 20. mar, 2022 | ENGLISH

Matter at Hand, Jakob Jørgensen. 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

Furniture designer and artist Jakob Jørgensen 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.

Jakob Jørgensen is a hands-on artist, deeply involved in the tangible material he is exploring as well as in the intellectual perspectives of a given project. Resistance is a key focal point for Jørgensen, who is thrilled when materials put up a fight and he has to grapple and tussle with them in order to bring out their core. Grasp the essence and pull out the form, despite any inherent defiance. Engaging in this process is a deeply personal experience, and one that captivates him.

Matter at Hand, Jakob Jørgensen. Foto: Dorte Krogh

For many years Jørgensen has made wood the basis for a range of poetic and epic furniture, many of them chairs and storage pieces with narrative titles. These works occupy a continuum between the commercial and the artistic; Jørgensen is fluent in both idioms and works in a continuous cross-fertilization between set and free tasks. He is also an accomplished craftsman who has masters virtually all the steps in the process, whether the material is wood, stone or steel, and he does nothing by halves. Why should he, since he can achieve whatever he sets his mind to, using his hands and his tools?

Though graduating the Academy as a furniture designer, Jørgensen also trained as a sculptor, working mainly in stone in his 20s. Now, two decades later, he has embraced steel. Always curious about the material, he has the ambition to explore its plasticity, discovering how an industrial cylinder can be transformed to hold an organic and artistic potential that challenges conventional thinking.

In his work with steel, Jørgensen investigates how the basic geometry of a tube reacts when it is subjected to pressure. The result is an organic expression with strong references to nature – and to wood, a material he knows by heart. Jørgensen has learned the techniques involved: welding, forging, using a hammer and anvil, and using a jack to compress the steel. Five targeted pressure points, and the steel tube begins to look like a bench. His organic expression stands in stark contrast to the industrial universe of machinery. A steel tube becomes a totem symbolizing the link between nature and industry.

The act of reshaping the tube and wrestling with its artistic potential appeals to Jørgensen, and during the creative process he is more interested in what the material affords and how it reacts than whether the result is art or design. To him, the goal is to explore a material and the possibilities it can offer in order to arrive at his own unique synthesis of matter and idea. Scale also plays a compelling role in Jørgensen’s work; a simple scaling up of a design or an idea brings out the unexpected and magical. It allows the steel to dominate the room with a grounded materiality; the totem has a palpable impact as it bellows out its strength. Jørgensen does not raise his voice but lets his restrained and powerful sculptures speak for him.

Matter at Hand, Jakob Jørgensen. 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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