Frieze: Alexander Tovborg’s Spiritual Yearning

June 27, 2023

Tom Morton

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A central nave flanked by a series of aisles and transepts, the layout of the Kunsthal Charlottenborg bears a close resemblance to that of a cathedral. It’s fitting, then, that Alexander Tovborg has reimagined it as a place of worship in The Church, his largest solo exhibition to date, and his most searching exploration yet of spiritual yearning—and personal gnosis—in our increasingly secular age. Long blocked-up with plasterboard, the institution’s ten vaulted windows have been exposed by the Danish artist, who’s overlaid their panes with collaged images of flowers and fruits cut from sheets of translucent, jewel-toned acetate, which recall the simplified forms and reverent joy in nature’s fecundity that characterize Henri Matisse’s stained-glass windows in the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence. As the Earth makes its daily journey around the sun, these images are projected onto the floor like visions sent from heaven, their shapes shifting by the hour, until night falls and they finally fade out. 

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