Image: Cover of the book, Tumí Magnússon Works 2000-2011
Essay within the monograph, Tumí Magnússon Works 2000-2011 (Copenhagen: Space Poetry, 2012)
I had been waiting for it to appear. Not consciously anticipating its arrival but when I came upon the image I knew I had been excepting it. The motif of Magnússon's vinyl digital print work in an exhibition at Olschewsky & Behm, Frankfurt, 2011 clearly echoed the distorted skull from Hans Holbein the Younger's The Ambassadors (1533). The original painting depicting two learned and influential men has, in the foreground, a skull painted in anamorphic perspective. Its lengthened form rendering it obscure when viewed straight on, but standing to the left the memento mori is evident, the skull hovers been the two men. Even when not perceived the inevitability of mortality exerts a presence. In Magnússon's quoting of this element there appears a condensing of a number of his recent engagements with image, perception, meaning and a complexity to the history of painting...