Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen: A meeting of equals

af | 20. mar, 2022 | ENGLISH

Matter at Hand, Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen. 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

Ceramic artist Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen 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.

Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen has never aimed for classical beauty. However, even when she challenges the norms of her discipline, she has her feet planted firmly on a foundation of craftsmanship. And because she knows her craft, she is able to dismantle, reinterpret and provoke a subject and a material she knows in depth. The core of her process is the meeting: the meeting between the artist and her material and the imprints her hands and tools leave on the clay. But when is it a meeting of equals? When is the artist in control, and when does the material take over? Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen aims for the equal meeting and is anarchistic in her aesthetic expression, which is profoundly personal and profoundly universal. When is something beautiful or ugly? When does an expression touch us, and when does it fail to connect?

Matter at Hand, Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen. Foto: Dorte Krogh

In Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen’s works you will discover aspects you recognize and some you will not. You might see something that looks like handles on a jar or like a layer cake that is so delicious and vibrant you can’t wait to sink your teeth into it. Pontoppidan’s works recall hybrids from another world created in a novel encounter of textures, colors, contrasts and stories sampled from random sources.

She might draw inspiration from a nicotine-stained wall in a dive bar, a coupling of two songs from different genres or a pine tree with an odd growth. Pontoppidan Pedersen seeks to merge forms, expressions and textures in tension-filled compositions. Two elements that might seem mismatched find their way and balance on the cusp of something new. There is a connection, an alternative language, where contrasts co-exist as equals. This can make her works seem difficult to decode, because they take us someplace new, an unsettling place with references we don’t recognize. And how are we supposed to respond to that? The titles may aid our comprehension, and here, too, Pontoppidan Pedersen is playful, playing with words, combinations and meaning, so that her titles often seem more like a riddle than a clue.

Pontoppidan Pedersen pinches her sculptures by hand, and sometimes a surface texture appears spontaneously as she kneads the clay. Any choice implies the rejection of an alternative, and when does the artist dominate the clay? When do the two engage in a dialogue? When and how can the artist’s intuition and feeling find an expression in the material? Pontoppidan Pedersen can sense it, the tension that so easily tips from interesting to overdone and then loses its justification. At that point, the artist’s co-existence with the material is lost.

Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen must have been an amusing and inquisitive child, constantly questioning the established and the expected. This naive and philosophical reflection lends Pontoppidan Pedersen’s works and her practice their original, relevant and engaging quality. Her works are a contemporary manifestation of an ancient tradition, a new language, full of sequences where we might recognize individual words but cannot quite grasp the full meaning. That makes sense to Pontoppidan Pedersen, who strives to penetrate behind language, expectations and the classic notion of aesthetics in order to reach a place that has not already been colored, coded or articulated into fixed concepts or categories. “Square peg, round hole.” Pernille Pontoppidan’s works are both – in a crisp, taut, equal balance.

Matter at Hand, Pernille Pontoppidan Pedersen. 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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