V1 Gallery presents

Rainbow Mountain
A solo exhibition by Søren Behncke


That Rainbow Mountain. It probably looks more rainbowy once you swipe it through an Instagram filter. Maybe Clarendon, Juno or Mayfair? Adjust brightness, contrast, structure, warmth, saturation, colour, fade, highlights, shadows, vignette, tilt shift and sharpen. Then it might look like #rainbowmountain. The Vinicunca, Winikunka, Montana de Siete Colores or Rainbow Mountain – a 5,200m peek in the Andes of Peru. The rainbow coloration stems from different environmental conditions and mineralogy when the sediment was originally deposited, and the subsequent diagenetic alteration. Hidden from mass tourism and mountainous fame until the mid 2010s when the glacier caps that had previously covered the rainbow spectacle for thousands of years, melted away due to global warming. The absent line between travesty, comedy and tragedy. That Rainbow Mountain was already there, hibernating under natural white camouflage.

When the mountain involuntarily appeared in public domain, Søren Behncke realized that it was indeed already there. He had pulled the figure out of the primordial shape soup many years ago, studied it in many forms and courted it in various settings. It appears here in the exhibition as the wings of a bat – painted on a DIVINO blueberries cardboard box from Peru; the light from a lamp in the bright painting Orange of Arabia; in the sculpture of the hat of hats; the painted smoke from Georg Baselitz’ inverted cigarette; the fireplace in Atelier Calder; in the chest of a cardboard sculpture of a minotaur; in the candles burning on Debussy’s grave painted on a pizza box; in the street lights of the painting Disco Dubuffet, and in a large pink and blue painting of Le Corbusier’s table next to his cat and pipe. Behncke refers to this study and development of shapes as “shape rhymes”. From runes over contemporary artists to mundane observations, he has developed a distinct alphabet of shapes. He paints them, draws them, prints them, sculpts them, filling notebooks full of “shape rhymes”. A way of seeing and communicating the world beyond verbal or written language. We can identify ancestral sentiments in these shapes. Ancient and contemporary, that Rainbow Mountain.

Søren Behncke (Danish, b.1967) lives and works in Copenhagen. Behncke is currently part of the exhibition Behncke, Heerup, Hildebrandt at the Heerup Museum, Denmark. The exhibition takes a curious look at the practices of the three artists, their visual vocabulary, their approach to the use and recycling of materials in their works. The exhibition is a continuation of Behncke’s in-depth exploration of artistic practices, -relationships and the development of visual strategies that also includes past dialogue exhibitions with Asger Jorn, Vincent van Gogh and Franciska Clausen.

Behncke has previously mounted solo exhibitions at Museum Jorn, Denmark (2019), The Art Museum Brundlund Slot (2018), Denmark, and ARoS, Denmark (2008), who has built an in-depth collection of his work over the past 12 years, most recently acquiring the painting L’Atelier De Mondrian. Major group exhibitions include JF Willumsens Museum, Denmark (2017), Arken Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2015), and KØS Museum of Art in Public Spaces, Denmark (2013). He has travelled the world to make limited edition lithographic prints on-site with the Mobile Printing Press in Albissola, Arles, Vienna, Paris, Madrid, Helsinki, Venice, Reykjavik, and Warszawa. His temporary public sculptures and actions have been seen in New York, Copenhagen, Venice, Paris, and along Danish highways. Rainbow Mountain is Behncke’s 7th solo exhibition with V1 Gallery. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication documenting the process of the exhibition.