John Kørner is a prominent Danish painter, one that is known for his playful explorations of the duality which his paintings carry, their physical manifestation but also their eloquent power of transferring the desired message. The artist is known for his humorous approach to his works as he refers to his paintings as the “Problems”.
John Kørner was born in Århus in Denmark in 1967. His career began when he enlisted the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Copenhagen in 1992 where six years later he obtained the degree in Fine Arts. In 2000, he got he was awarded with the Carnegie award, a prize he acquired yet again in 2008.
While viewing his paintings one with meticulous eye can see just how many levels are embedded in the artwork. With non-figurative forms, multicolored ovals and dancing arabesques which serve as some kind of preconception, Kørner is presenting us some simple figurative elements and things that are universally recognizable, from a person to a crocodile or a bicycle. All of the signs embedded mixed with the strong coloring invest the eye of the viewer to jump between numerous levels of recognition. John’s work proves to be highly rhythmic pieces, in which some repetitive segments remind us of musical notation. They often depict movement of some sort, whether is it illustrating work related activity or a leisure one. In the presentation of his work Kørner often uses some unconventional approach where he includes social aspect of the viewing experience. Occasionally, the artist displays his pieces outdoor, mostly when creating an installation which is also one of his desired medium including sculpture. Sometimes he also incorporates the theatrical and performance segment just to add to a sense of collective experience.
Besides the painting, as said, he is also involved in creation of three-dimensional art, as he molds and paints ceramics, incorporating some of his motifs, feature in tableaux such as Mr and Mrs Smith at Work, 2006. Some of his latest works, the one created in 2008 are politically charged paintings, one depicting an deaths of Danish soldiers in Afghanistan.
He has had solo exhibitions at Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Denmark (2003, 2013); The Workers’ Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark (2011); ARoS Århus Kunstmuseum, Denmark (2006) and Moderna Museet, Sweden (2005). His work was recently included in group exhibitions at institutions including the Scandinavian Institute, New York, (2014); Palais De Tokyo, Paris (2012) and many more.
John Kørner lives and works in Copenhagen.