As we step forth into the streets and parklands of Stockholm as the wonderment of summer takes flight from the cusps of spring, lets joyfully muse upon these in relation to our surroundings:
Who decides on what goes into a public space?
What within it is embraced by the community that uses it?
How much of its composition is perceived by the colors riveted into adjacent place to each other?
What within is deemed acceptable of making into art?
How much is determined through naivety?
Wherein lies the hope that surmounts tragedy and loss?
Wherein lies the varied layers of life?
Exhibition: The Other Life
Artist: Enrique Martínez CelayaWhere: GALLERI ANDERSSON/SANDSTRÖM, Hudiksvallsgatan 6
When: Till 2 June
With eight paintings and five works on paper, Enrique Martínez Celaya reflects on inevitability, tragedy and loss in a way that does not discount hope, but places it out of reach; suggesting the enigma of life’s singularity, and invites thoughts of life parallel to our own and emerging from the choices we did not make.
Featuring allusive and archetypal imagery – a basket of apples, fields of grass, flooded waters, these symbols and landscapes make connection to works Celaya has previously done. However, their emotional register contrasts more starkly than before despair, loss and loneliness against tenderness, redemption and love; creating instability between the references in painting and its materiality, between what it brings forth as idea, dream or invocation, and its factual condition as object and reservoir of work.
Since the early 1990s, Celaya’s extensive oeuvre in painting, sculpture and installation is characterised by metaphorical complexity that blends fantasy, reality, and memory to create a poetic world that is both semi-autobiographical and resonantly universal; making his art a rescue ship, where its ever shape-shifting appearance depends on what we lack and what we long for.
So his works embark on the human condition in relation to time and nature; revealing the sadness in a person’s life, but finding salvation in really observing the buds in nature or the ball of dandelions not yet open – and rest in that experience.
Exhibition: Public Luxury
Where: ArkDes, Exercisplan 4, Skeppsholmen
When: 1 June 2018 to 13 January 2019
An exhibition about Sweden’s common architecture and today’s contradictions and paradoxes of designing public space, it asks: “What is it that makes sausages and ice cream stands arouse such strong commitment? How can the fear of crime and terrorism be used to create vibrant street environments? What happens when the public says no to something that an architect or artist has worked with for years?”
Exhibition: A life in color
Artist: Siri Berg
Where: Bonniers Konsthall, Torsgatan 19
When: Till 10 June
Since the 1960s, Siri Berg’s strictly reduced geometric abstraction is rich in variation and the visually unexpected; having first gained recognition in New York in 1939 when minimalism was making its breakthrough in the art world.
Berg’s strong interest in color theory upholds color as extremely relative and relational; appearing different according to any other adjacent colors.
“Just as the knowledge of acoustics does not make one musical, so no color system by itself can develop one’s sensitivity for color,” stated artist and professor Joseph Albers.
As works that empirically investigate the way in which colors are experienced, they at times referenced symbols of balance and harmony – such as yin and yang or the rondeau, a principle in musical composition. At another, they contain no such references; experimenting with just how few hues could be utilized to achieve a spectrum with a color gradation.
Artist: ANDRES SERRANO
Where: Galleri Charlotte Lund, Johannes plan 5
When: Till 16 June
One of the most remarkable contemporary photographers alive, American artist Andres Serrano’s monumental color works in the Jerusalem (Holy Land) series from 2014 continues to push the ethical limits of photography; examining the idea of representation and its transcendence of preconceived notions of whom and what are deemed worthy of being made into art.
By artistically portraying subject matter that is otherwise considered unseemly – such as corpses, bodily excretions and torture devices – and transforming it into shockingly beautiful photographs, Serrano also challenges traditional notions of what is holy and what is profane.
Likewise, his famous magnificent portraits of Church members, soldiers, homeless people, celebrities, transsexuals, politicians, Native Americans and Ku Klux Klansmen are represented respectfully and equally; revealing his deep-rooted fascination with religious iconography and doctrine.
His training in painting and sculpture palpably shapes his photographs too; making them appear painterly with careful attention to mass, balance and composition, and dramatically suffused with light and saturated color.
Exhibition: Little People
Artist: SAGA WENDOTTE
Where: Galleri Eklund, Karlavagen 15
When: Till 2 June
A photography series showing the contrasts of the youth, naivety and innocence to the occasional unflattering dark reality of the human body, the works are at a first playful sight cute, but at closer look shows disturbingly otherwise: Saga Wendotte blends opposites to create a space for reflection; leaving us with a deeper sense of wonder and resonance.
American artist Jacob Hashimoto’s fourteen new works and an immersive site-specific installation consist of thousands of fragile paper kites, arranged in overlapping layers vibrating with color, shape and patterns; creating dialogue between painting and sculpture and a unique atmosphere that is a reflection on the various layers of life.
Over the past decade, the concept of the crowd played a central role in Anna Ådahl’s artistry, which observes and investigates the relationship between the individual and the mass, in relation to psychological and physical body language in response to the political surrounding it.
In this exhibition, Anna Ådahl focuses on the contemporary crowd’s properties, aesthetics and politics in a new digitized context; looking at computerized tools used to produce and monitor today’s organized crowd; identifying how this affects our future collective behavior and political coexistence.
What crowds are represented? What needs to be programmed or systematized? Where route does the individual take? What can the public do to resist the simulated sphere?
In Anna Linderstam’s artistry we are greeted by a vision that is not given. She breaks loose from the two-dimensionality of photography and tradition by sculpturally occupying the gallery space; taking note of broken places, primal forces creeping through the photograph attachments where a spatial formulation holds the different parts together.
She starts from a collapse that occurred a few years ago, when short-term memory and sense of time have disappeared. Where everything was quiet, gentle and soft, as if something has nested in the air, and an empty room is solely colored with carpeting to highlight differences in light and depth of field and adding another dimension of reality that disappears into the artist.
Exhibition: In House
Artist: Anders Gyllerfelts
Where: Gallery Hera, Hornsgatan 36
When: Till 31 May
“In House” moves people around a specific house, where people meet, where memories are created within the landscapes and the light around the house; creating a tranquil view of a colorist’s ideal environment.
Photo and information credits: The respective galleries.