Photo: Wanås konst
In 1996 Wanås exhibited works by six Nordic artists working in diabase. This mineral has been quarried north of Wanås since the 1880s and has long been regarded as an attractive material by artists, partly on account of the variations in its surface, from the rough grey of the quarried rock to the glossy dark black achieved when it is polished.
Altar I was Larsen’s contribution to the 1996 exhibition, a smooth seat made of this hard material. The diabase stone is polished so the upper surface is wavy and alludes to the primordial era when the diabase was liquid matter. The heavy stone slab is resting on two steel legs. This presentation gives the work the appearance of being a sample, a geological specimen. Its sides are coarse, cross-hammered, and in sharp contrast to the finely polished top.
Larsen is a trained nurse, but has worked as a sculptor since the 1990s. Working alternately in stone, bronze, stoneware, plaster and plastic, Larsen explores strange, organic shapes that relate directly to the body. We are our bodies, and through our bodies we relate to, and understand, the world.
“The body and its movements have always fascinated me and will probably continue to be the theme of my art for the rest of my life.”
Altar I is a tactile work that is perhaps best experienced by running a hand over its alternately rough and smooth surfaces.