Seachange. The sudden change of sea. From one moment to the next it changes from placid blue to a white wall of foamy peaks. Bjarne Werner Sorensen's paintings can be experienced as placid, meditative surfaces, but one feels that the moment you turn away everything has changed and nothing is as it was before.
"Is there a message? Yes
space is a tattooed body
with signs, the air is a transparent
texture of calls and answers"
Prints and paintings are two entirely different art-forms. In the etching there are several stages between the initial hand-drawing and the completed work, The hand sketches on a copperplate. but the plate is only a stage on the road Moreover. in the usual print the motif reversed,' this forces you to step out of the work and mentally turn the picture around A painting leaves no distance between the hand that moves the brush and the canvas. The effect of each stroke is seen at once, Even the way you physically approach the media demonstrates the difference. You bend over the graphics. losing yourself in the plate that lies horizontally on the table, But a painting is vertical, you approach it standing up, face-to-face as in a meeting, a confrontation or a love affair, In the copperplate lots of the crucial effects of the process happen when you let go of the plate into the acid. Nobody knows exactly how the acid will eat into the plate, whether you can produce a particular shade or how complete the impression will be, In graphic techniques you have to come to terms with chance as a worthy partner. But chance may also set you free. A painter must be conscious of his responsibilities. Each brushstroke presents an existential choice and therefore the process in painting involves a heavier task than in graphics. In the interaction between he two techniques a dynamic dialogue can emerge.
While Bjarne Werner Sorensen is both a painter and a graphic artist, he sees no conflict, He feels a mutual throbbing pulse between painting and graphics. We can recognize the rhythmic line of the graphics hiding behind the colors in the paintings. Like an improvised dance, it scribbles across the canvas. The painters brush. drawing a wash of acid over the copperplate, creates an effect reminiscent of the flowing grace of watercolor.
There is an organic movement in Bjarne Werner Sorensen's landscapes. Masses shift, pass, push one another forward, separate and link into new formations. Paradoxically. the illusion of freedom is achieved through rigorous control. The lyrical, emotional and romantic approach is informed by the artist's awareness of the need for visual appeal. like any player. an artist must master his tricks.
The painting is flat, It is a piece of cloth hanging on a wall. It relates to the room and affects the space surrounding it, but it stays on the wall and does not physically intrude on that space. All the same, Bjarne Werner Sorensens canvasses leave a sculptural impression. Standing across from them you may imagine yourself on a plateau looking out into an open landscape where some formations loom like massive sculptural forms, where cliffs rise before your eyes. You sense how it would feel to let your hand slide across the rocky cliff, to touch the soft green moss. the fungous purple, the dry, driving black.
Bjarne Werner Sorensen expands a space between signs and coincidence. the closed form and suggested meaning. He applies paint in multiple thin lazarated layers> permitting colors to disappear and reappear Thus the smooth back-ground accentuates the pastose brushstrokes' sign-letters, woven into the texture urn of the painting. In the graphic works there are no levels that can be felt, however, the interaction of different techniques: aquatint, drypoint and sugarlift create a three-dimensional effect of multiple surfaces, even though none can be touched or felt, Across the diffuse, plain surface a row of signs have settled, like birds in migration.
The pictures do not resemble reality. Yet they evoke remembered experience You too must have leaned your head back and turned around to make the crowns of the trees spin dizzily against the sky. You too must have lain face down on a summerwarm ledge and breathed the dry scent. It is these sensations the pictures awaken, though in themselves, they are not nature, but painting, a construction on a canvas, built up brushstroke by brushstroke, each new stroke altering everything that went before. The painting is its own experience of nature.
Like music, painting is essentially movement in time. Moving into Bjarne Werner Sorensen's universe is moving into an open time-space where different Ievels mix. There are patches of time, steep plateaus where time bursts into a dif ferent level, There is no back-and-forth but an accumulation of movements, deltas of running time-levels. The Works have musical quality As Jazz jumps with a syncopated rhythm. so Sorensen's works jump from sign to sign in a dancing frieze, a vibrating, unknown syntax. Maybe it is poetic notes, maybe notes in a secret score.
In his graphic works, Bjarne Werner Sorensen balances a delicate, careful quali-ty with a powerful ferocity tugging at its leash. The rules of graphics are more firm than those of painting; the rules are clearly stated, and there are limits as to how many plates you can combine in a print. Still, a complex expression emerges without sacrificing simplicity. Lines cut across the paper, glowing like rusty wire- a prolonged singing tone through a whitish room. Perhaps there is a pattern, but like any pattern, it is bigger than us, - we are unable to grasp it.
The little sign of the brush or the scratch of the needle, it is the same movement forming an agile, pulsating rhythm, a throbbing row of signs. The ornament of nature, images adrift.
Poem quotation from "Pasado en claro", 1978 by Octavio Paz.