What potential can be found in a line? Using string flicked against a wall to make a line, which is echoed in a nearby corner of the room, the artist demarcates where a two-dimensional surface gives way to the third dimension and a sequence of works mounted on panels. This quickly applied line usually serves the purpose, in building works for example, as a straight line,; as archaic as it might seem, of marking the line dividing where a space begins and ends. A single line can alter the relationship between a surface and a space, opening it up, or it can also draw attention to an empty area. Together, through different thickness lines and varying relationships to both elements of the space and each other, a spatial dimension can be defined and even point to a perspective from which the entire work is intended to be viewed. This type of line also hints at the time frame of its making: a visible trace of powdered pigment serves as a reminder of its creation and hints at potential activity therein. And this straight line also stands for, in its exactitude, efficiency and the degree to which the artist is in control of the situation at hand. The technique the artist uses, making a mark with string with pigment on it as a physical act in which a surface has been touched, is an indexical gesture towards what is potentially missing.
In addition to her works using lines on walls, Sofie Thorsen has, in recent years, called attention to surfaces, spaces and temporal structures through the interaction with new, even contrasting features: rigid, repetitive patterns of absolutely straight lines next to each other are broken by lines that change course and touch other through chance, and tension occurs through the yielding of control. A constant, however, remains the spatial nature of making these marks by causing string that has been infused with pigment to hit and mark a surface by most minimal means, evoking an infinite art space.
Her collages bring this line back into play in a different way, delineating what can be perceived as a space: lines outline an area, defining a shape. The artist extracts surfaces between lines which provided with a sense of materiality by painting them. As a result, the painted paper no longer lies flat on the surface. Cut-out forms are then brought together as small format objects of art and lines, surfaces and define spaces which then become a relief. This causes the physical context of the work to come to the fore as a three-dimensional element, whether in the form of a protuberance or an indentation. The relief has a profound effect on the surface adjacent to it which provides a two-dimensional pendant to each movement in the space itself.
In Sofie Thorsen's presentation, walls serve as fundamental surfaces on which marks are made or picture panels hang. One of the walls in the exhibition has been painted so that it provides, both in its texture and colour, a point of reference. Opposite that wall, collage reliefs hang, consolidating the various elements in the show, drawing viewers' attention to the movements and reflections that are part and parcel of the entire installation as a whole.
©Verena Gamper, 2019
English translation: Deborah S. Phillips
Sofie Thorsen Biografie / Biography:
Geboren | born 1971 in Århus, DK. Lebt und arbeitet in Wien seit 1999 | lives and works in Vienna since 1999. Preise / Awards: 2017 Dagmar Chobot SkulpturenpreisEinzelausstellungen | Solo Shows 2019 Krobath Wien. 2017 Appeared After Rain, Kunstbüro Wien, A. Whose Sleeves?, Anhava Galerie, Helsinki, FI. 2015 Ballspielwände, Kunst am Bau für BIG Art, BRG Krems, A. Ansicht, Schnitt, Mumok Kino, Wien A. 2014 Sofie Thorsen, Krobath Wien, A. 2013 Sofie Thorsen, Tresor, Bank Austria Kunstforum, A. IG 383 and the Play Sculptures, mit | with Thorbjørn Beckmann, Overgaden, København, DK. Mosaik, Dum Umění, České Budějovice, CZ. 2012 Schnitt A-A‘, Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel, CH. Schnitt A-A‘, Kunsthaus Graz, A. 2011 Habitat, Kunstverein Düsseldorf, DE. 2010 Leuchtend Grau, Kunstverein Langenhagen DE. Tokyo Marching Song, Krobath Berlin, DE. 2009 The Colourless Island, The Aarhus Art Building, Århus, DK. Sofie Thorsen, Krobath Wien, A. Gruppenausstellungen (Auswahl) | group exhibitions (selection) 2019 Konkrete Gegenwart / Concrete Contemporary, Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zürich, CH. Reflex Bauhaus, Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, München, D. 2018 Yesterday, Today, Today, Kunstraum Buchberg, Schloss Buchberg, A. Vice versa: Our Earth is their Moon, our Moon is their Earth, m3 festival / Art in Space, Prague, CZ. Wiener Raum, Heiligenkreuzerhof, Wien, A. Collage, Krobath Wien, A. 2017 Traces of Time, Leopold Museum, Wien, A. Ich weiss nicht – Growing Relations Between Things, MAK /Vienna Biennale, A. 2016 Away Exhibit – Stories from Abroad, Ehemaliges Post- und Telegraphenamt Vienna, A. Emak Bakia, Krobath Wien, A. Beton, Kunsthalle Wien, A. The Language of Things - Material Hi/Stories from the Collection, 21er Haus, Wien, A. Abstrakt - Spatial. Malerei im Raum, Kunsthalle Krems, A. Forårsudstillingen 2016, Den Frie, DK. 2013 The Collection #4, 21er Haus, Wien, A Open Studios, ISCP, New York, US. Social Design, Galerie Emil Filla, Usti nad Labem, CZ. Ruhe-Störung, Marta Herford, D. Brno Art Open, Brno, CZ. The Vienna Model, Austrian Cultural Forum, New York, US. 2012 Spiele der Stadt, Wien Museum, A. DLF 1874: Die Biografie der Bilder – Eine Inventur der Voraussetzungen, Halle 14. Leipzig, DE. Art after 1900, Statens Museum for Kunst, København DK.