Jesper Knudsen, curator, Holstebro Museum of Art, 1990  

Artistic expression subjected to strict discipline

Henrik Hadsund is a traveller in art. At least when he isn’t producing it himself. For eight years he has travelled the length and breadth of the country every week for Sammenslutning af danske Kunstforeninger (The Association of Danish Art Societies) carrying new consignments of art of widely differing character. As is the way with modern art where the expression changes as from night to day. And where experiment and testing limits alternate with quiet, shrewd adaptations of artistic effects.

Henrik Hadsund is confronted by all this diversity, when he mounts an exhibition – which is an art in itself – where he has to establish an interaction between the works of art themselves and between them and the localities and the space in which they hang.
This interaction with art has clarified Henrik Hadsund in relation to his own artistic expression.

It isn’t kaleidoscopic and multiform but concentrated around finding new solutions for the perpetual dilemma that confronts painting; the conflict between expressive emotional outbursts and considered constructive explorations.

As for numerable other youngsters during the last three decades it was Jonna Sejg’s educational artistic activities that started Henrik drawing and painting. While attending high school in Struer but also during the following years he often visited the old school in Dybe, which was and still is a vital centre for a fertile and popular artistic activity in the countryside between the sea, the heath and the fjord.

And as for so many of the region’s artists it is experiences of the landscape that is his great source of inspiration. But for Henrik Hadsund it is just the starting point for his work with blocks of colour and their direct significance for creating space.

But Henrik Hadsund’s work through more than a decade shows that it all began with small colourful landscape paintings.

Subsequently two motifs crystallised that Henrik has worked with analogue.
On the one hand simplifying nature’s elements to a series of simple forms – bordering nature’s primary forms with a restricted use of colour with few blocks of pure undiluted colour. On the other hand working to transfer the texture of cloud formations to canvas. During the later years the cloud motif has been heavily toned down but the soft contours have been kept, although in a different range of colours that are concentrated around an intense yellow along with blue and green.
The early soft wild figures have now become disciplined and are kept in rectangular blocks of colour.

The pictures can be seen as schematic landscapes with green and yellow fields and blue fjords.
Or one can, as seen from an aeroplane, see it all from above – as though it was a section of a map.
In any case there is a powerful intensity in the working of the individual blocks of colour. It is the intensity, the luminosity of colour kept in check by distinct boundaries that is the real aim of Henrik Hadsund’s painting; artistic expression subjected to strict discipline


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