The myths and archetypes of cultural history play a central role in the works of Alexander Tovborg, where the past and the present are interwoven in ornamental visual narratives of human existence. In this solo exhibition, he adds a new element to a body of work that has previously focused on religious imagery. In a total installation on the first floor of Overgaden, he directs attention to one of the most fabled beings of modern times – the dinosaur – in his continuing investigation of the nature and manifestation of myths.
Ever since the first dinosaur fossils were identified in the early 19th century, this prehistoric animal has captured the human imagination, and in the worlds of both science and popular culture has become a symbol of the grand dramas of origin and death in both nature and life. In his exploration of the mythological qualities of the extinct species, Alexander Tovborg draws on the first zoological representations of the dinosaur created by the sculptor Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins in 1854. The sculptures were clearly influenced by Romanticism’s ideals of beauty, as expressed by the British Pre-Raphaelites, whose colourful, symbol-laden paintings were inspired by the classical, simple lines of the early Renaissance and united historical, literary and mythological themes with detailed studies of nature.