Natural Selection: Jacob Brostrup

13 - 27 November 2022
For the past 6-7 years, Jacob Brostrup has worked with a theme which could generally be titled ‘Modern Man’s Relationship to Nature’. The project has aimed to make paintings floating somewhere between our cultivated, controlled, and high-technology life and raw nature. In this way, the paintings reflect the complexity of  modern life in which we have become deeply dependent on technology, but where yet more and more people seek out nature and where we build therapeutic gardens and green oases in the city.
Brostrup paints a somewhat of split up 'alla prima', meaning there is just one layer of paint on the canvas which forces Brostrup to work meticulously on throughout the whole surface. When an area is completed, he has time for one, very special process whereby Brostrup runs a dry brush through the still wet paint. It does not smooth the paint, or create a blurring effect that we know from other well knowns works by artists such as Gerhard Richter, but more an exaggeration or enlargement of the brush stroke. Brostrup seeks what we may describe the strength of the stroke. It is to be understood as the sealed energy of the individual brush stroke that we know from e.g. the impressionists, the expressionists and perhaps in particular Japanese calligraphy. In Jacob Brostrup's ‘translation’, it can be seen in the careful arrangement of motifs built up over several strokes that are being manipulated by a larger brush stroke before the paint dries. This brush stroke makes the motif both melt together and appear as a motion caught in time. Leaving part of the exected expression to chance is an integral element taht Jacob Brostrup embraces. Having worked and mastered this technique for 15 years, surprises still arise from this intervention. The surface on the canvas, the viscosity, thickness, opacity and strength of the paint and the pressure from the brush are all elements which influence the final result.