Foto: Erik Wøldike

Lenity (Asmat/Ezra Pound)

Martin Erik Andersen
2016 / Hovedstaden
Udenrigsministeriet - herunder også ambassaden i Washington Ambassaden i Washington København K, 1448 Danmark
About the artwork

Martin Erik Andersen mixes materials and genres. Originally trained in sculpture, he moves freely among art forms.

The work is a worn Oriental rug - silver-plated on the back. It can be viewed as a monochrome, a surface with only on color, but in reality it is a landscape of nuances in which the silver becomes gold, almost white, and other places dark gold. This coloring is a part of a process that will continue over time along with the oxidization of the silver. The work could seem like abstraction but nevertheless captures us with its tremendous sensuality. However, with the work’s title, Andersen inserts many meanings and references that we must try to make sense of in relation to the work. It is called: Lenity (Asmat/Ezra Pound), (2016).

Lenity means ’mildness’ and is often used as a legal term in connection with a judgement – a lenient judgement. Pound was an American poet, musician, and critic who was a driving force in modernist poetry at the beginning of the 20th century. He moved to London and was an editor for American periodicals in which he helped discover and shape contemporaries such as T.S. Eliot, James Joyce, and Ernest Hemmingway. But in indignation over the horrors of the First World War, he lost faith in England and considered international capitalism to be one of the war’s causes. He moved to Italy in 1924 and, throughout the 1930s and 1940s, he joined the fascist movement and did radio broadcasts for the Italian government in which he was critical of the US and President Roosevelt. After the war, he was convicted of treason. He became mentally ill and lived quietly in Italy until his death in 1972. The lenient judgment in the title may refer to the judgment that was passed on Pound – was there some ‘mitigating’ factor to his treason because of his role in culture? Or does it refer to the judgments that Pound himself passed on authors by virtue of his role as a critic in which he helped pave the way for some and closed off avenues for others?

Andersen allows his works to remain open to interpretation and maintains that the way he understands his works is not the truth. As he says in an interview, his silver rugs are, "of course, also just fiercely beautiful and empty - and that’s what they are supposed to be."

Andersen has been active on the Danish art scene since the 1980’s. Today he is a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts and has received the greatest Danish art medals - the Thorvaldsen medal, the Eckersberg medal, and the Carl Nielsen and Anne-Marie Carl Nielsen prize. His works have been shown at various international exhibitions, and he is represented in museum collections.

Title: Lenity (Asmat/Ezra Pound)
Department: Deponeret kunst
Object Number: SKF-2016-046
Type: Tekstil
Material: Vævet tæppe, bladsølv
Dimensions: 207 × 128 cm
Place of purchase: Købt hos Galleri Susanne Ottesen
Date: 2016

ACCESSIBILITY

Not available for loan
Cannot be visited
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LOCATION

PICTURES (1)

Foto: Erik Wøldike
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