Napoleon at the Party. Ny Dandk Kunst. Marie Kirkegaard. 2007
The traditional understanding of drawing as a subordinated "bearer" of more important media, or as a media that served painting and sculpture as a draft or sketch to the actual piece, is today confronted by several pictorial artists. And one of the front-runners is Jasper Sebastian Stürup. On his third solo show Napoleon ar the Party at Galleri Susanne Ottesen, he proved once again that drawing is a media on the same level as all others, and that he excellently masters drawing as well as conveying it to an audience.
On the front wall of the gallery he had installed the series God Damn the Sun, which was also published as a book with the same title, consisting of a 100 drawings all done on American stationary. This series, which Stürup began when he came to New York in 2005, has come into being during a period of 18 months and thus illustrates a nice part of his practice, as the single drawing relate to larger pieces and projects that Stürup has worked on during this process.
Thus, God Damn the Sun focused and played on the traditional interpretation of drawing, as the series comprise of more or less torn out details, but is also put together as something large and complex. The 100 drawings, all in the same white frame, seemed overwhelming in its whole, as it almost noisily welcomed the guests in the exhibition.
This was a large and well-functioning contrast to the singular different drawings, which in Stürup's characteristic almost whispering, discreet line, each required a more intimate space for further investigation.
Stürup does not suffer from either horror vacui or its opposite. Through the direct and close-to-the-body-experience created by drawing, he played with the contrast of intimate versus monumental throughout the exhibition, and went from small to large scale by taking advantage of the volume of the rooms in all of their corners.
All in all he seems to make use of the special potential and traditional trades of drawing and confront these with alternative formalist and material expressions, as for instance in the small tables - or installations, which were placed in the exhibition. Here, drawing played the role of small sceneries that looked like models of theatre stages.
Whereas drawing is often perceived as a media closely related with ideas - the distance from thought to paper seems shorter than the distance from thought to painting or sculpture - Stürup's three dimensional collage tables were like physical dashes in space.