Many years ago, actually I am horrified to think that it was some 40 years back in time, I was responsible as a project manager for new galleries at the National Gallery, fitted into old light wells with the first exhibition being on the ‘Golden Age of Danish Painting’, then quite radical in bringing this new art to London.
It is a strange paradox that, while we love Danish and Scandinavian design, the art of the country is still relatively unknown. Top marks therefore to Victoria Miro for a double delight, with the gallery in Mayfair showing works by three artists Asjer Jorn (1914-1973), Per Kirkeby (1938-2018) and Tal R (born 1967), which while a stand-alone exhibition in its own right, also acts as a prelude for the larger solo exhibition by John Kørner in the converted warehouse gallery near Old Street
John Kørner (born 1967 – the same year as Tal R) draws his viewer deep into and beyond his canvases, often into unknown mysterious white spaces. He is well-known for his ovaloid shapes which are metaphors for containers that contain all our problems.
Running is another of his themes, here not only paintings of running men which represent us running from one mental state to another and, perhaps in doing so, leaving our problems behind, but also a running track which takes the runner towards running boxes and then to a climbing frame at the top of which climbers are served cocktails every Friday evening.
Noticeably, as the running track reaches the climbing frame, the ovoid containers of problems gently disappear from the track reminding us of the mental, as well as the physical, benefits of exercise.
Alongside, the athletic visitor is invited to use leg-power to pull viewers ever so slowly across his large painting ‘Twelve Hours’ representing the rise and fall of the sun over a day.