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Jesper Blader

Born in: 1968

Sweden

Biography
Translation in progress

The history of the image is the story of our desire to bridge the gap between our inner world and the physical image; where the world and our conception meet. Reality is portrayed increasingly through the global flow of information via electronic screens as opposed to being experienced by the senses. In recent decades, visual art, most noticeably traditional painting, has been subjected to criticism and questioning that has overturned much of its mimetic power. Nevertheless many artists still test the potential of painting and seek to find new ways of re- establishing the channel of communication painting has occupied throughout our history. One of these artists is Jesper Blåder. We sometimes talk about the extended field of painting: new materials, combinations and mimetic experiments. Anyone who has seen Jesper’s paintings in later years would immediately recognize them, not least for their physical form. The traditional square or rectangular surface grows in Jesper’s paintings to digressions and extensions of spatiality - both illusory in the depth of their design and as two-dimensional colour fields in the surface plane. Jesper crafts a world of stories that draw from contemporary apocalyptic themes of threats against humanity. Climate change and environmental destruction form the backdrop to many of his pictures, to which he adds austere modernist architecture like factual representations in an abstracted space. The morphed and often intense colours act as energy fields, offering glimpses of the unknown. Increasingly, Jesper’s paintings are populated with strange forms and elements, like technical apparatus whose functions are far from clear. There are children too. A wide-eyed girl with braids, framed with a sense of urgency, as if she had just materialized in the space and was surprised to be there. Perspective is amplified in the pictures Jesper creates. The illusion of three-dimensional space that painting historically seeks to represent is broken down into more complex spatial representations. Jesper’s paintings exist amidst the tension of representational, abstract, undefined spaces. This context entices the viewer to enter the sphere of the image. The stories are therefore not Jesper’s but the viewer’s. The paradox of Jesper’s paintings and images is that the story is secondary for him. He sees himself primarily as a colourist. It’s each picture's colour scheme and the tension between colour combinations, which encompasses his desire for expression and drive. There’s a two-fold way to appreciate Jesper’s pictures: to be triggered by the wordless and subconscious message of colour combination or to enter the figurative narrative of a breath-taking journey into the imagination.
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