On September 23, Galleri Jacob Bjørn will present waking up everywhere, a solo exhibition of new work by American artist Nick Theobald (b. 1986).
While continuing his investigation of repetition and seriality as forms of abstraction, Theobald introduces screen printing techiques into his practice. Created from decommissioned copper tjap, traditionally used to stamp batik designs onto cloth, the printed geometries are purposely left incomplete and flawed. The magnified prints highlight the painterliness of natural errors and erratic imperfections that occur. The resulting patterns embody the post-minimal practice of embracing the human component within an otherwise mechanical process. Meditating on the sanctity of an artist’s labor, Theobald utilizes visual vocabulary from his childhood spent around Southeast Asian motifs and traditional batik prints.
Beeswax, a material critical to Theobald’s art practice, takes on a restrained, ghostly presence. Most notably in a new series of sculptures constructed from thousands of thin joss papers, a central element in mourning rituals throughout Asia. The papers feature outlines of clothing, appliances, and other essentials sent to the dead upon being burned. Bundled and dipped in natural beeswax, which foregrounds the desire for eternal life, the mass-produced Chinese prints provide a cultural context and ethos for his work.
Theobald’s work capture a schism between contemporary values and traditional faiths, technological reproduction and the handmade. The exhibition waking up everywhere advances Theobald’s constant inquiry of similarities between multiple different cultural and spiritual beliefs, an abstraction of their components that embody his pluralistic American experience.
This exhibition will coincide with Theobald’s inclusion in the group exhibition No Man is an Island - The Satanic Verses (September 3, 2016 - January 1, 2018), at ARoS Art Museum, Aarhus, Denmark.