Silence ... and ... roll 'em!

The clapboard slams shut in front of Per Kesselmar's works. Our eyes anxiously look for signs of life in the wide screen-like objects, with their white painted rectangles surrounded by fields of dark metal, and in the works spreading out into the room as thin, partially painted metal shelves. With his low-key art, Kesselmar places heavy demands upon the viewer.

For those who manage to gain access to Kesselmar's world however, the rewards are much richer than one would at first imagine; as the subtle expression is furtively unveiled, the most sensitive levels of perception are put into play. Those who find themselves in this "virtual" state, tangent to, although barely exceeding a visual absolute zero, enter a realm where nothing is seen as colourless, but where everything can suddenly take on an unexpected shade, life, and sculptural form. This is an expression where all transformations are possible, where
media and matter seem to challenge each other and perform somersaults in a dampened interplay allowing the hard to appear soft and the warm to seem ice cold. A factor of central importance in this quandary is the light Kesselmar activates, revealing an infinite depth or a barely discernible modulation through its interaction with the pigment.

The tangibility off the works is emphasised by the fact that Kesselmar consistently works with and on iron, a material that lifts forth the meticulously primed paint. The iron works as a sounding board for the paint, emphasising its weight, while the layered application off the paint itself achieves the intended surge, nuance, and shadow; generating a surface that in turn offers light a co-operative role in the creative process.

The transformations in the works are subtle, to say the least, and Kesselmar is often seen as a lyrical artist whose works can be experienced as both object and painting oriented, and in a solitary state as well as in relation to the walls of the surrounding room. Especially with his wall-based optical illusions, Kesselmar challenges our sense of perception while he in more theoretical terms also toys with the notion of the spatial position of painting as the works arise from an area somewhere between a harsh daily life, and a more elevated minimalism. In this way, Kesselmar freely twists the constructivist tradition, and at the same time engrafts it with a humanity of sorts as the time-consuming thoughts present clues to a wider existential zone with ample space for reflection on our own boundlessness as well as our physical position.

With his corporeal and painterly objects, Kesselmar presents us all with a humble request to take time. The wise accept the offer, pause for a moment, and suddenly realise that in these works lies the opportunity to view and face life with a new and revitalised curiosity.

Mårten Castenfors