Spring heralds in a selection of art exhibitions that promises something for everyone. With artists hailing from within Sweden, Europe and beyond, they are serving up drawings, collages, sculptures, video art, silkscreen prints, paintings, photographs and textile appliqué works spanning the extensive continuum of poetic to political.
Exhibition: Mother of Pearl and the others
Artist: Carin Ellberg
When: 7 April – 7 May
Where: Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Hudiksvallsgatan 8, Stockholm
Ellberg’s art extensively has its point of departure in a personal idiosyncratic imagery that uniquely explores forms, ideas and very disparate materials and substances such as coffee, silicon, tights and cloths. Her process streams ideas and thoughts in constant and continual transformation; manifesting itself in paintings, drawings, collages, and sculptures where the obvious and the unconscious smoothly float in and out of each other, and where meanings and ideas can be guessed at but remain continuously elusive.
In the exhibition, which includes drawings and collages, are a large group of sculptures made in round iron and glass – materials new to Ellberg’s practice. With “Mother of Pearl” as its centerpiece, her sculptures’ form and content bear resemblance to her work on paper, where the iron is shaped with the lightness of the drawing, the glass is the three-dimensional collage and where a narrative can be imagined but not clarified.
Exhibition: The Opposite of Voice-Over
Artist: Bouchra Khalili
When: 2 April – 19 June
Where: Stiftelsen Färgfabriken, Lövholmsbrinken 1, 117 42 Stockholm
Moroccan-French artist, Khalili’s first solo exhibition in the Nordic region showcases works that situate often-unheard voices of minorities, providing alternative conceptions of belonging and civic community.
“The Mapping Journey Project” is an 8-channel video installation that provides alternative maps to normative cartography. The displayed maps, on which individuals are obliged to cross borders illegally, literally draw their journeys while recounting them.
The 8 silkscreen prints in “The Constellations Series” is the closing chapter of “The Mapping Journey Project”; being printed maps that are reproduced from the latter’s videos. Being translated into the constellations of stars, the series suggests a geography of resistance as experienced by “singular lives … which have become, through I know not what accidents, strange poems” – quote from Michel Foucault’s “The Lives of Infamous Men”.
The film-trilogy “The Speeches Series” further emphasizes the critical function of speech and self-representation by operating as a platform that allows members of minorities based in Paris, Genoa, and New York respectively to address issues of language, citizenship, and class.
Thus, the exhibition invites us to move beyond appearance as it acknowledges the presence of voices often disregarded or stigmatized by systems of media logic and the regulations of national representation – voices with the accent of a political minority, deliberating strategies and discourses of resistance against arbitrary, societally and historically defined obstructions.
Through her unique capacity to combine poetry beyond written language with subject matter and the power of the spoken word Khalili creates a temporary sense of community where there is none.
Exhibition: Between Lines
Artist: Leena Nio
When: 2 – 29 April
Where: ANNAELLEGALLERY, Karlavagen 15 B, 114 31 Stockholm
Finland-based Nio’s new series of paintings all references nature. In some the landscape is outlined, in others unknown. Figures such as birds, dragonflies, plants and spiders appear to be embedded and absorbed by the background, painted as silhouettes. By combining both elements in one image, she creates art that challenge the viewer’s ability to quickly gather information, organize, and interpret what one sees.
Mixing detailed brush strokes with impulsive expression, Nio’s paintings are both precise and spontaneous. By playing with the surface and depth of the paint itself, she experiments with the thickness and structure of layered and poured paint. With emphases and distortions in visual depth, she combines organic shapes with geometric forms and strict lines.
Exhibition: Boys and Girls and Black Holes
Artist: Wilhelm Mundt
When: 7 April – 7 May
Where: Galleri Andersson/Sandström, Hudiksvallsgatan 6, 113 30 Stockholm
In 1989, German artist Mundt sculpted “Stein 001”; marking the start of a chronological series of abstract, lump-shaped sculptures that soon came to be titled “Trashstones” and characterizing his artistry ever since.
Thus the exhibition performs a dual role. Its “The Black Holes” are photographic works of various leftover shadows of lumps, each showing a Trashstone’s contour. At the same time, the show is an allusion to the expectations and pre-conceptions that may arise when one encounters a colour, a structure or a shape. While the black bronze surface absorbs almost every light, the aluminum ones are reflecting their surroundings. And his creations differ considerably in variation and randomness – the “Trashstones” come in all shapes and sizes.
But by using what is left behind after completing one Trashstone as the beginnings of another, these sculptures are consistently linked by the chronology of their coming into being.
Exhibition: What We See, or What We Seem
Artists: Richard G. Carlsson & Linda Hofvander
When: 7 April – 14 May
Where: Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Hälsingegatan 43, Stockholm
Although deeply rooted in their respective disciplines of painting and photography, Beirut-born Carlsson and Stockholm-born Hofvander have long felt a distinct kinship with regard to content and artistic approach. What started as an informal exchange between artist colleagues, the idea of a joint exhibition came to light, evolving into more frequent in-depth conversations in each other’s studios.
Through their discussions, they have deepened their understanding of each other’s work, discovering unexpected similarities as well as noticing how their ideas have previously coincided on a number of occasions.
Thus, in the show Carlsson and Hofvander share a common fascination for, among other things, the intricacies of perception and take on the subject with their subtle expressions and distinctly personal artistic idioms. Carlsson presents a series of studio interiors as well as large-scale abstract paintings. In both his abstract and figurative works, the focus lies in the rendition of light and the immediacy and physicality of painting. Hofvander’s new photographs explore the photographic gaze in relation to spatiality and the nature of the narrative that emerges in the process.
Artist: Moki Cherry
When: 9 April – 9 October
Where: Moderna Museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm
In the 1970s, when many artists challenged the authorities, Cherry based her artistic practice on promoting the values that were actually worth protecting and fighting for. A kind of utopian alternative – what life should we lead, and how?
Yet though she differed from her friends Marie Louise Ekman and Niki de Saint Phalle in the Stockholm art scene then by leaning towards the contemporary experimentation with alternative ways of organizing everyday life – counter-urbanization, living off the land, arts projects for kids, and interdisciplinary creative practices, her oeuvre hardly lacked political overtones – with a distinctly feminist agenda, and a more socially critical stance in her later collages
The exhibition presents a rich variety of Cherry’s works and documentary material from her long partnership with the American jazz musician Don Cherry since the 1960s. Separately and together, they made happenings, music, art, posters and album covers, and the large textile application pieces that Cherry is famous for. They combined various forms of expression on stage in time and space, coming up in 1967 with the Movement Incorporated concept; later renamed Organic Music.
Throughout her artistic career, Cherry lived without clear distinction between life and art. Most of her works are frameless, literally and figuratively; making each object intimately linked to a context, ideologically and practically. Touring, though integral to the music, dance and situations in which people met, was also a reason why Cherry made so many textile appliqué pieces – they were portable, and easy to pack and hang.
The show highlights the 1970s, and includes works made from 1967 to 2007; presenting a mixture of Cherry’s appliqué works, drawings and collages, together with documentation, music and stage photos, to tell these objects’ stories on the road between life, art, pop, jazz, politics and Gesamtkunstwerk.
Exhibition: The Doubling of Reality
When: 8 April – 14 May
Where: Wetterling Gallery, Kungsträdgården 3, 111 47 Stockholm
With her roots in Korea and Berlin-based since 2001, SEO connects two cultures and traditions and creates a unique oeuvre that symbolizes globalization and its impact on humans and their culture and environment. That which looks like a rice field in Korea at first glance reminds us of a sunflower field in France after another gaze. Thus environments become entwined with cultures, creating new worlds.
The exhibition showcases landscapes from the world over, but with architectural structures that create new rooms and indicate new environments. The levels in each artwork depict parts of our globalized world; countries, environments and cultures merge and transform into different shapes; with landscapes and people habitual in a culture placed in a different context.
The architectural structures strongly parallel the worlds of computer games. The impression is fractioned and instable, the spaces move and buckle. The reality is rarely unequivocal, more so as it becomes based on additional stories.
”Man creates by increasing impact on nature through technology and information technologies – a growing constructivist reality in which living spaces and cultures are put more quickly in new and hitherto un-experienced relationships,” shares SEO.
Artist: Isaac Hall
When: 8 -24 April
Where: CANDYLAND, Gotlandsgatan 76, 11638 Stockholm
Heracles is the starry sky’s fifth largest constellation. It consists of nebulae, stars and star clusters, galaxies and exo-planets; never reaching any Shackleton or Lawrence. Under the stars, the landscape regains for us – the contemporary poor people – the popular imagination as we too often believe we have lost. Somewhere we approach our material foundation, which is common to us all. Where the animals in nature throughout the universe are incurably lonely.
Stockholm-based Hall’s works are meditations in an intercultural approach to a possible future of landscape, calm and atmosphere: light years beyond the modern technology with its potential and ambitions to constantly explore and constantly make demands. Where uncontaminated nature is still there – abstract and yet a potential resource. What culture will we impose on what is left after we go further?
Artist: Sara-Vide Ericson
When: 9 April –15 May
Where: Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Fredsgatan 12, Stockholm
Ericson’s works coincide with her move back to her former home – her place of birth – in Hälsingland, Sweden. In the encounter between the past and the present, she has found material for creating new artworks that are a personal settlement with her roots and the unraveling of previous generations. She has among other things used stolen clothes and inherited objects when staging her tableaus in “sacred” places. By making use of a performative and more intuitive method where an event is recreated or rather lived, she has experienced a greater freedom of work – one where she has challenged herself.
Moreover, painting to Ericson is a transformative act, where things take shape, and concurrently get life prolonged in a way that contradicts the photographs she takes during the work process. While the latter are mere snapshots, or frozen moments, of a course of events, her paintings reflect the mental process she occupies – from being in a dark room where the light intensifies in pace with her work’s progress to the point where she can now see the situation, location and their underlying surface more clearly.
“It is like exhaling into a glass. The breath is still there in the form of condensation. This is where the feeling is. The image does not exist until I paint it,” shares Ericson in the exhibition catalogue.
Information and photo credits: The respective galleries