In Lucas Rahn’s work he attempts to examine time and utilises painting’s ability to link the past with the present and the future. Instead of mainly depicting the specific conditions at a particular time, Rahn explores the idea of ll the possibilities that time implies: the possibility of what has been and what is, whilst at the same time what could have been and what might be. Painting in this case becomes as much as a craft as a way to explore time as a concept and search for what Rahn calls a slower and more sincere time.
A main characteristic of his artwork is tranquillity. It is a visual world that is all-embracing and adheres to the notion of timeless aesthetics. A painting such asModern house against the light – where the art-historical theme of the sunset contrasts with and obscures the contemporary building – may, in this perspective, stand as a metaphor for an overall theme. The juxtaposition of the modern aesthetic against the background of the universal aesthetic, becomes an allegory of the time and a meeting between the contemporary and the omnipresent within the painting.
Lucas Rahn’s work holds a kinship with the literary world, as reflected in both his choice of motifs and more abstract literary references – like Borge’s magical realism with his murky and obscure logic – which interacts with the works in a more underlying and atmospheric manner. Despite the intellectual approach and the intellectualised view on painting, there is still an element of intuition present in the work. There is a sense of humour and a warmth in his method, combining a playfullness that interacts with and contrasts against the austerity in a complimentary way.
Just as everyones perception of reality is a complex web of twisted fragments of the past, experiences of the present, and thoughts of the future, the painting becomes a place where these different occurrences can meet on non-linear terms. The motifs move between abstraction and figuration, occassionally within the same painting. The subdued colour scheme, the placidity, and the dark and murky undertones, reconnects to the idea of iving the paintings an all-embracing feeling and a desire for eternity, and also a desire for something that can survive the thoughts and ideas of our time.
The quietness, the slowness and the intimate format creates a subtle encounter between the viewer and the work. To encounter each painting is to encounter the content rather than the body: instead of being overwhelmed by a real physical presence, the viewer is invited to enter the realm of the painting and adapt to the tempo. The result is a body of work characterised by a quality that emerges from the subtlety of Rahn’s painting method, which enables the viewer to gradually build up a relationship to.
These paintings create an opportunity for reflection, a room where alternative time and endless possibilities can co-exist.
Lucas Rahn (b.1980) graduated from The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm 2011.