The term caesura is arguably one of the most fundamental parts of poetry and music. The expression refers to the planned pause, the interruption of a series of movements, which allows the trumpet player to catch his breath or the poet to sustain a suspension within a verse.
Mathias Malling Mortensen’s series of works conveys a reminiscing of a synesthetic experience initiated by the tones of Bill Evan’s album You must believe in spring from 1977.
In this exhibition of works, taking its title from Evan’s elusive piano, Malling Mortensen strips the canvas down and leaves the raw linen as the backdrop for a personal symphony of shapes. This allows Malling Mortensen’s alphabet of note symbols to ascent from the resonance created by the geometric shapes, forming silhouettes of Evan’s melancholic longing for spring. Following a tradition of artists’ use of abstract painting as a medium to articulate movement and progress, Malling Mortensen utilises a stringent pallet ranging from ultramarine to black, merely to be disturbed by large achromatic sections, in his study of the possibilities sustained in the intersection of music and art. This inextricable relationship has been actualized throughout art history, however Goethe’s comparison of the two drawn in a letter to the German composer Carl Friedrich Zetler in 1820, comes especially to mind regarding the series of works in question:
“The visual symbol is at once effective and elusive; the musical symbol, by contrast is emancipated from its original source and merely triggers the imagination.”
Seen as a result of Malling Mortensen’s merging of the two artistic fields, we find a prevailing wish to construct a joined perception within the canvas. This is as much a product of the movement of the note transformed into a symbolic form, as it is a consequence of the recognition of the symbolic form’s capability to give the viewer a sense of timespan through the use of repetition.
 Bodly, Lorraine Byrne: Goethe and Zetler: Musical Dialogues, p. 9, New York: Routledge (2009) 2016
– Cecilie Marie Dalhoff, art historian