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Michael Ahlefeldt is “In The Gallery”

Kunstavisen 01-15 by Finn Storgaard

When you go “In The Gallery”, you are greeted by bright, light, happy, strong, affectionate, heavy, intense, bold colours on speed. Dronningens Tværgade 19.

Michael Ahlefeldt has spent the past year finding a new approach to his painting. As Picasso once said : “I do not seek. I find”. Michael Ahlefeldt: “Every morning when I see my face in the mirror, I get a feel for the impression that I will put down on canvas that day. And every day has its face.”

When I had a moment to look back on the works the day after the private view (which was attended by an incredible number of people), recognisable shapes, faces and figures became more and more apparent. The artist covers up and covers up ... and the beholder uncovers and uncovers... It’s like being given a gift to unwrap. You look at the paintings and the paintings look at you, you are not monitored, but the observer is observed.

For this exhibition, I worked with a palette knife, layer upon layer, intuitively spontaneous and close up, gradually putting a face on the chaos. You could almost call the works mirror images of the soul. A comment on a life lived, people who are no more, displaced experiences and the mind going astray. Life has many colours, and the life in the paintings is multicoloured. And the colours care not to shower one another with compliments.

Go right up close to the paintings – step back from them – gently scrunch your eyes to focus and give yourself time. That way you’ll get so much out of this exhibition.

There are also two fabulously beautiful paintings on handmade copper print paper with colour pigment and two antagonists, gypsum and salt water. This technique makes for a quiet unique expression – a universe; I had the same feeling as when, as a young man, I lay looking up into eternity. With age, eternity slips through one’s fingers, and it’s nice to see it again.

The exhibition, which is entitled “Seen – Unseen”, is linked to the space inside us that nobody else gets to see, and which we ourselves have to make a great effort to gain access to. We are one big secret.


A modest painter - with a strong expression

Kunstavisen 01-14 by Mia Kobbernagel

“In The Gallery” is a relatively new gallery, which opened it doors in May 2012. A brave gallery! Brave because the gallery opened on Dronnings Tværgade right in the middle of a minefield of other galleries. The gallery has started out very well with various debut exhibitions. The gallery has a predilection for the photographic media, but also exhibits other forms of art, with a sharp eye out for new artists, Michael Ahlefeldt (born 1965) lives and works at Egeskov castle. He is known as a busy businessman, and has put a huge effort into making Egeskov a popular destination for visitors. On top of this Michael Ahlefeldt has managed to indulge his passion for art, though this passion has only been recognised amongst a small amount of people.

Anyhow he has through the past years been educated by artists Ellen Madsen in Hadsund along with RAH Craig Ron in Perth, Scotland. Ahlefeldt has since then studied at Accademia Italiana in Firenze, Italy, alongside Fyns drawing and painting school in Odense. He has two artists John Olsen and Lars Nørgaard as mentors. Michael Ahlefeldt also has an interest in hunting. One of these hunting days would prove to have a special meaning for the artist. On the hunt was a good friend who knew Michael Ahlefeldt’s passion for art. He talks to another man participating on the hunt and mentions his works, the participant just happened to know the owner of “In The Gallery”, and together they manage to persuade Michael Ahlefeldt to exhibit in the gallery.

Michael Ahlefeldt paints and draws in a lively and abstract idiom, preferably on big canvases. The colour scheme in his works range from dark to very light tones with dynamic and forceful brushstrokes. His major works are painted with acrylic in many layers and clearly shows that the artist has found his very own expression and stance. Abstract work, yes it is! But I understand why the artist has been shy with the exhibiting of his works. The works are painted over a long period of time, and the exhilarating variations of atmosphere within the works, have a clear reflection upon his life so far, and refer to Michael Ahlefeldt’s own history, which remains private.  

A previously hidden artistic talent has now finally greeted the outside world, with open arms. After over twenty years as a diligent working artist, Michael Ahlefeldt has now decided to make his debut at “In The Gallery”.



Michael Ahelfeldt, Kunstavisen 01 2014

"Kunsten gør mig glad" - opslag fra Billedbladet januar 2014