Goethe once said “The one to whom nature begins to discover its mysteries”. The work of the Danish artist Per Adolfsen can indeed pretend to be the interpret of a nature that is both mysterious and bewitching. He sums up his production with this simple formula : “A man in nature, observing, taking notes, drawing”. Through a charming easiness, he apprehends nature according to its own expression in order to reconstruct the landscapes he lives with. The vivid and saturated shades, the wavering and serpentine lines form a cohesive construction in which each natural element is spontaneously intertwined with the other, in the manner of a musical chord. The hatching gives a certain solidity to the drawn shapes, and at the same time they create a sense of depth to landscapes seemingly flat. Besides, this flatness of the drawing, just like the deeply memorial nature of his work, reminds us of the aesthetic of a postcard. If the drawing is a journey through Adolfsen’s memory, it is however a discovery in uncharted territory for the viewer with a new eye. The intimate format of Per Adolfsen’s drawings, the original framings, their strong poetic and lyrical spirit but also the dreamy shades evoke the Nabi landscapes, but also the bucolic sceneries of the Barbizon School.
“Make your painting an opening to the world”, De Vinci once said. Adolfsen truly understood the master’s lesson. He brings the viewer into contemplative escapes through familiar horizons, and thus allows him to travel into Adolfsen’s world and that of his own feelings and emotions.
The serpentine and graphic lines, the cut out patterns in the way of japanese prints remind us of Vallotton’s formula : “the soft curved line, the whimsical and sinuous and curved line”. The light of these Danish landscapes is bewitching and raw, the details are numerous, the color chords are saturated. This allows him to reconstruct the landscape in order to offer a contemplative universe to the spectator, that is both lyrical and oniric. His interpretation is intimate and sensible. The flatness of this nordic microcosm is punctuated by conjunctions of shining shades that play with anti-naturalism, creating a “color-light” effect according to Henri Matisse’s saying. The strength of Per Adolfsen’s work lies in the simple relationship between the eye, the mind and the hand, without ever using technology nor modern tools. If the places drawn by the danish artist are lands which are familiar to him and which surround him, the landscapes he presents do not lose any of their accuracy or universality.
Adolfsen uses an original medium : the color pencil which he enhances with pastel and graphite. His drawings open the curtain on a dreamy and colorful horizon that leads the viewer into a meditative and whimsical state.
“Drawing is a fight between nature and the artist. It is not about copying it but interpreting it.” – Baudelaire