Article about Henrik Saar

Art and life - Art critic Tom Jørgensen

Article by Tom Jørgensen, editor of Kunstavisen, Bachelor of Art History 2008

Tom Jørgensen

Art and life

About Henrik Saar's picture world:

There may be many reasons for painting figuratively, but if there is, as in Henrik Saar's case, a close connection between life and work, it is an existential necessity. Henrik Saar's stories would like to pass on to us, can simply not be conveyed in another way than through recognizable imagery. And not any recognizable imagery. The inspiration comes from the old masters. The Renaissance and the Baroque When the images were based on carefully planned drawings, they transferred to the canvas to add layers of pure colors in transparency until the surface stand sparkling and shining like a pearl mother. Henrik Saar combines the lines and contours of the Florentine school with the Venetian cultivation of the color. The result is a unique, personal, and above all, an uncompromising way to paint.

However, it would be wrong to call Henrik Saar's style too realistically. His images, with their stylized contours, non-naturalistic abbreviations, and often consciously skewed perspectives, do not live up to the classic central perspective painting. Inspiration from pre-Columbian art, from Mexican masonry, symbolism, surrealism, and the generally dreamy and enigmatic atmosphere, Henrik Saar's images are not known as reality imitation. The reality being treated in his paintings, on the other hand, is the inner reality. The process of thoughts and feelings that the artist experienced in the artistic moment of life experienced a life of disease and violent personal upsets. Conversions so big and so painful that the painting has literally been a rescue plan for Henrik Saar. Here he has been able to process the chaotic feelings that have prevailed in his mind. Here he has been able to get them out and over on the canvas in a process that can only be described as healing. On the inevitable question of how a painting of such a distinctly personal-psychological character may be of general interest, one can answer that Henrik Saar, like the surrealists, believes that behind the pure personal feelings lies shared experience across time and place. A way to perceive the world, which is pre-linguistic, magical, and mythical. A world of faith and hope, of pain, suffering, and fear of salvation and redemption. Everything tied together by destiny, in most cases only half-conscious. Therefore, it is not coincidental that Henrik Saar's paintings rest much of the mood found in Latin American literature. A spirit of magic and fate and with a sensation we rarely see on our cooler Scandinavian latitudes. It has often added humor that can only be described as carbon-black with the splash of desperation that makes it really hot.

Henrik Saar's pictorial world, with his uncompromising seriousness and existential gravity, is, of course, hard to swallow for a part of a Danish audience who rarely encounters art that has anything to offer other than formal experiments or superficial decorative qualities. That art can also deal with life and death; fate, faith, and doubt makes many of us a little uncertain and reserved. However, if you give a slight drop in your usual viewing distance, you will experience both an artistic and human challenge in Henrik Saar's paintings. A challenge that will ultimately ideally make a difference in one's life.

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