Central to Værslev’s practice is an ambivalent investigation of gesture, ranging from colloquial appropriations to those that find bedfellows in painting’s past. Very often, Værslev conflates these references with the uncertainty of nature, leaving his unstretched paintings outdoors. Undermining Værslev’s own decided marks and moves, the works accrue the accidental traces of weather - like turpentine gone sour, or monochromes corroded into color fields. As they become inextricably tied to the environment in which they were created, abstraction gradually expands into the representation of real objects and phenomena.
In his most recent body of works, Værslev envelops his own practice as a material, literally stitching together elements belonging to his past series – both canopy paintings, which resemble commercial awnings, and monochromes. Recombined, these retrospective compositions verge on figurative, likening themselves to boat sails, some of which are even adorned with maritime insignia. The works situate themselves as an autobiographical conceit, further tying the constituent abstract elements to a collaborative network of intention, history, and chance.