Kompleks­ form­ nr. 1

Title and year
Kompleks form nr. 1, 2022

Fibreglass-reinforced epoxy, car paint.

Torben Ribe (b. 1978)



Torben Ribe has a long-standing interest in the relationship between abstract art and banal everyday objects. His work process involves, for example, examining the behaviour of trivial objects when elevated into large-scale aesthetic works of art and given a painterly touch. He has paid particular attention to foodstuffs, as they are frequently overlooked in our everyday routines. Ribe points out that a close examination will reveal that most foodstuffs are both interesting and sculptural and share many similarities with formal painting as regards their colour, texture, and presentation. These underrated artistic qualities and the absurd and humorous encounter with an enlarged banal object from the dinner table in a bustling public space are some of the things Torben Ribe wants to highlight in his project for Aabenraa.

Positioned centrally where the pedestrian street begins, Torben Ribe has created a hypernaturalistic reproduction of a fish fried in breadcrumbs. The reproduction in fibreglass-reinforced epoxy is an upscaled 3D scan of a real fried fillet of fish, which was then cast and hand-painted. Measuring around three metres long, the work draws attention in the public space. The ’misplacing’ of the fillet, its size, and exaggerated scale make it an odd object, balancing finely between being ultra-concrete and painterly grotesque. The work may elicit a smile – while also indicating the start of the pedestrian street with its implicit consumption, eating, and everyday magic. Furthermore, the fillet of fish is a nod to Aabenraa’s proud shipping tradition and dependency on the fjord.

Production: 10 Tons

About the decorative project

Nørreportkvarteret som kunstdestination – værker af unge danske samtidskunstnere (the Nørrebro District as Art Destination – works by young Danish contemporary artists) is developed by Aabenraa Municipality in collaboration with Creator Projects, community ambassadors and the Aabenraa Municipal Visual Arts Committee. The project is backed financially by: the Danish Arts Foundation, Den Jyske Kunstfond, BHJ Fonden, and the Aabenraa Municipal Visual Arts Committee.

The full list of artists who have contributed to the project comprises Rune Bosse, Silas Inoue, Oskar Koliander, Mathias & Mathias, Helene Nymann, Torben Ribe, and Studio ThinkingHand. The works are the property of Aabenraa Municipality.