Sune Christiansen


Sune Christiansen (b. 1976) has developed a signature approach to figurative abstraction that is as ambiguous and suggestive as it is playful and inviting. Christiansen draws upon his extensive experience working with digital drawing tools to hone the palettes and compositions of new works, preferring to begin each painting through a process of iPad-based sketching and refinement. Once an arrangement of forms has been loosely identified, Christiansen begins responding to these preliminary drawings on the surface of the canvas, focusing much more on materiality and visual sensation than any attempt to faithfully reproduce the original sketch. Embracing the accidental, Christiansen works to create paintings that are both visually arresting, but also ultimately unpretentious in their basic ambition to achieve a form of expression that contains a certain undeniable truthfulness.


Ideas of the figure often assume central importance in Christiansen’s works. Whilst the artist maintains that he wants to avoid any clear explanation of how he intends for his figures to be read, the body language of Christiansen’s characters often evokes such broad themes as hierarchical power dynamics, hieroglyphs and other pictorial language structures, religious devotional practices and the symbolism of intimacy and sexuality.


Working mainly with oil stick, pastel, acrylics and industrial enamel paints, the artist deftly modulates texture, density and speed as he plots figures and objects in a manner that shows a clear dialogue between his own work and the likes of Kathrine Bradford, Eddie Martinez, Tal R and Sebastian Helling.


Whilst the execution of Christiansen’s work is so natural as to feel unmeditated, the reality is that the artist’s images are carefully composed and grounded in a strong interest in pictorial traditions and art history. On the other hand, Christiansen makes no pretence towards over-sophistication and favours a brightly vibrant and instantly recognisable palette of primary reds, golden yellows and emotionally-charged blues, as if to emphasise this point.


Enjoyment and an encouragement towards participation are at the heart of Christiansen’s practice along with a fundamental gratitude for life and the serendipity that brings any artist and viewer together through the medium of painting. Christiansen is interested to lure the viewer’s eyes into his paintings, but also insists upon allowing them to form their own interpretations of his works once they are present.


Sune Christiansen (b. 1976) is a self-taught artist living and working in Copenhagen. Previous exhibitions include: "INTO THE LANDSCAPE" at Pt.2 Gallery (Oakland US, 2022), TWENTYFOUR III” at Bricks Gallery (Copenhagen DK, 2021), New Paintings at Alzueta Gallery (Madrid ES, 2021), "SOLO" at Bricks Gallery (Copenhagen DK, 2021)TWENTYFOUR  II” at Bricks Gallery (Copenhagen DK, 2020)