Torben Ribe

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Torben Ribe

Work from his oeuvre.

“The global financial crisis has, quite paradoxically, also had a creative impact on the art scene in Copenhagen. One of the affected spaces is IMO, an ambitious artist-run gallery situated in a new gallery area alongside prominent galleries such as Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Gallery Nils Stærk and the Royal Academy’s exhibition space, BKS Garage. This month an extensive painting exhibition by one of the artists who runs the space, Torben Ribe, is on view.

In his recent series of paintings, Ribe depicts what could be called ‘interior situations’ – though they are the kind of interiors that we would happily put behind us. Sawdust wallpapers painted with a sponge in colours such as lime green, pink or baby blue are displayed together with the utilitarian necessities we’d rather not look at: wires, ventilators, wall sockets. What is being framed here are arrangements that most of us would pay money to hide, repair or even demolish. Moreover, it turns out that these domestic fragments all have an inherent problem resulting from shoddy construction work: in one painting, mould is about to destroy the wallpaper, in another, a slimy substance clings to the surface (maybe in an attempt to create further ‘creative’ effects, but a cloth on the wall shows that the effort was in vain). The paintings direct our attention towards the failed attempts of some anonymous ‘handyman’ trying to solve a specific problem, but the solution ends up creating yet another problem to be solved. For instance, white paint has been used in vain to cover the coloured clinkers of a bathroom in the painting Colours of Harmony (Pregnant)(2010).  – Frieze Magazine

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