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Madelin Gudmand Wilian (born 1969) is a multimedia artist, graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and the Academy of Art Institute, San Francisco. With activity in a wide range of art forms such as paintings, woodcuts, novels, collages, children's book illustrations, knitting, animated films as well as music, dance and performance art, she has especially influenced the Copenhagen art scene as a performing artist, performer and teacher. In this exhibition, Madelin G. Wilian is current with 10 paintings that exemplify her playful socially critical aesthetic language. In the encounter with Wilian's works, one is tangled in whimsical colors and vivid imagination. The motifs are dreamy and balance on the border between the figurative and the abstract as well as the childish and the adult-like. In the triptych series My Boyfriend says he meditates well when he plays DOOM, a person playing computer accompanied by his cat is portrayed in a two-dimensional picture space with synthetic color combinations, clear contours and rough brushstrokes. The visual language is vivid and naive, which at the same time brings to mind French fauvism in the early 1900s as well as the visual arts lessons in schooling. The same naive idiom is seen in many of Wilian's works. Behind the colorful and naive expression often hides a socially critical weight in Wilian's works. In the triptych series Awakening of a Clerk, a person, certainly the Clerk, experiences a mythological fantasy world with squeaking flowered red deer and giant hares sitting from an office chair. He clings to the armrests of the chair and seems uncomfortable with pink embarrassed ears. The three-part triptych is a format that is also seen in i.a. Christian altarpieces from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Through a three-part variation of a motif, the viewer is led to meditate on the repeated theme. At Wilian, we are invited to meditate on the clerk as a kind of symbolic character for the modern high-profile business world, which in the light of the work, seems uncreative, boring and in desperate lack of life. One would almost wish that the clerk would break his pattern, sit up on the blossoming red deer, and ride out toward the horizon. These dreams of pattern breaking recur in other works as well. Through Wilian's works, audiences are invited to contemplate and marvel at a society at idle. She suggests with alluring richness of color and childlike openness that society does not have to be so gray and enclosed about itself.

Written by Astrid Brincker Olson, student in art history and museology


 "Ive got sunshine in my pocket" i Galleri Jarsbo, Ålborg, march 2020.

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