Fall 2023

Skid Marks:
Peter Bach Nicolaisen

Speech by Charlotte Jensen:

Dear Peter,

Congratulations on your exhibition.

To me, you represent a kind of kinship we’ve invented for ourselves. A kinship that also includes many others. We’ve been part of a shared context for many years, a context that extends beyond just us. The significance you’ve had in shaping our reality, especially at Krabbesholm, has been extremely profound. And it all culminates today with an opening here at FourBoxes, featuring your hanging of paintings.

We stand in a space we know very well. And it occurred to me yesterday that it might be possible to create a connection between your paintings and the kinship we share, and thus, with the significance you’ve had for Krabbesholm, through the space itself and the formal expansion it takes on through the hanging of your paintings. The way the paintings expand the space and share their language with us, those standing here, suddenly assured me that amidst reality, there exists something more. There is a space for something, for someone, or for me, which one can be incredibly fortunate to be a part of. It may be invisible to some, inaccessible to others, but if you’re lucky enough to be a part of it, you’ll never forget it. It’s the space you’ve created and shared here at Krabbesholm, where both of us have lived for many years.

In the text accompanying the exhibition, you describe painting as hard work. Routine-driven and frustrating, but on the other hand, it’s also a framing and structuring way of life, where checking the phone, having a cup of coffee, and writing a shopping list play a role in the creation of the painting. When one says “painting,” it refers to both the result and the process. Seeing the paintings as an extension of a lived life must be acceptable. Some of the paintings are hanging here today. The process continues.

For Per and me, it has made perfect sense to collaborate on the book that accompanies the exhibition. The book unfolds the exhibition in a different way by juxtaposing your paintings with recollection texts from your childhood and youth – from your life before Krabbesholm. The book as a medium allows for the juxtaposition of text and image, which can then mirror and reflect each other. It’s a stage, a space in itself, open to interpretation and, importantly, it contains the idea of the pedagogical situation. The meeting between teacher and student. I have personally idealized and looked up to your practice as a teacher in art and, on this occasion, specifically in painting, as something mystical and alluring. Something unique and uncompromisingly pedagogical. The pages of the books are mixed differently from book to book, so that everyone can learn something different. The connections between text, life, and painting are not static.

Perhaps they take me back to a sort of childhood where skid marks in underwear or “Skid Marks” were something that could happen to even the best of us. At the very least, they convey a poetic awkwardness in observing how life has turned out, leading back to the presence of the paintings today.

“You write, ‘The painting is empty and only about itself,’ and conclude by stating, ‘The painting is the painting.’ I would add that life is life. These are harsh and reductive observations that close in on themselves, but at the same time, they can also signify something more, the opposite in a way, something that we need today: to point out that both painting and life are universal and infinite.”

Exhibition catalogue - Skid Marks - Peter Bach Nicolaisen