Anders Bonnesen: Word is just a four-letter word


June 10 – July 8 2022


For available works from the exhibition click here


WORD IS JUST A FOUR-LETTER WORD is the third solo exhibition by Anders Bonnesen in the gallery. In a way it is a group exhibition made by only one man.


The title of the exhibition – and the title piece, in neon – is a kind of combination of Bob Dylan’s song Love is Just a Four-letter Word, from 1968, and Joseph Kosuth’s many tautological neon pieces, also beginning in the mid-sixties. One, the spokesman for a generation which wanted to replace the reigning logic with love, the other fully occupied with “reducing” visual art to language philosophy.

Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE, from 1964, is repeatet in black, white and grey in a series of nine paintings – 9, because the image is repeated with the other eight Danish vowels: LAVE, LEVE, LIVE, LOVE, LUVE, LYVE, LÆVE, LØVE, LÅVE – a romantic statement “disturbed” by, a form of, logic.

In the exhibition there are several such series of paintings, grids of either 3 times 3 canvases: the nine Danish vowels, the nine numbers, or 5 x 5 canvases: the 25 letters in the English language (not counting W). We have only these two sets of signs at our disposal when trying to describe the world around us – yet in another series the artist tries to replace one with the other.

A series of mirrors carry subtitles from films by “the director of the sixties” Jean-Luc Godard, who among other things is known for shooting his films on the everyday streets of Paris. Here, the images of the film are, of course, made up of – whatever goes on in the gallery.

In one of the large storefront windows of the gallery stands a single pitiful plant in a flowerpot. It is a part of a series of works in which the artist has “planted” plastic flowers in cracked concrete and named each work after a love song from his own record collection.

In general the exhibition consists of such clashes between something romantic – in a personal, political or any other sense – and language and/or logic.

Neither about love nor about language can anything adequate or conclusive ever be said – or, as the Danish singer-songwriter Lars Lilholt once so precisely phrased it:

Call it what you will / Call it love if you will / Whoa whoa there are no words / no words that fit the bill / so call it what you will.


Please contact the gallery for available works from the exhibiton.

Installation view of Word is just a four-letter word by Anders Bonnesen