Sara-Vide Ericson, Liar VIII

Sara-Vide Ericson
Sara-Vide Ericson, Liar VIII, 2010, image: Galleri Magnus Karlsson

Sara-Vide Ericson’s first solo exhibition “Liar” at Galleri Magnus Karlsson evokes charged emotions. She paints like a moderately macabre Alex Katz with all the icy clarity of a Northern European. Her crisp paintings illuminate post-modern portraits, figures bent awkwardly into compromising positions—whether confined by their own solitude or in an incomprehensible power struggle with another. The bright, cool light in the paintings belies what remains unrevealed, as it seems impossible to pinpoint the relationships between figures. Yet, one senses that these rapports are either familial or sexual—always intimate and paradoxical. More »

Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer, ”Under Nomadic Surfaces”

Sarah Cooper / Nina Gorfer
Cooper and Gorfer, Women Boats Left, 2008-10, image: Christian Larsen

Based in Göteborg, Sweden, the artists Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer began to collaborate in 2006, for they share an attraction to issues of place and the act of site-specific storytelling. “Under Nomadic Surfaces,” the duo’s latest exhibition, presents images from their travels to Kyrgyzstan and Qatar; all of the works depict individuals who crossed their paths. The artists emphasize the personal narratives of each subject, eschewing the obvious political or religious connotations that could be extracted from these pictures. Instead, Cooper and Gorfer attempt to portray the memories of each person to communicate the passage of time. The works also highlight the countries’ ongoing transformations in order to reflect on changes that may not be readily visible. More »

Gunilla Klingberg, Parallelareal Curry Lines

Gunilla Klingberg
Gunilla Klingberg, Parallelareal Curry Lines, 2010, image: Galerie Nordenhake

Stockholm-based Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg presents an installation with five accompanying art objects reminding art lovers why it remains important to personally experience art in real life. The focus of this examination is on Klingberg’s oversized display of red grid lines entitled Parallelareal Curry Lines, 2010 that make their way across Galerie Nordenhake’s floor, creeping up walls and weaving their way through the open space. Many artists possess a longstanding historical and intrinsic interest in the occult, superstition and spirituality; Klingberg’s installation consisting of these fiery markers of vinyl tape persuade the viewer to consider Manfred Curry’s mystical invention of curry lines. Once used to help decipher the world’s electromagnetic energies―both positive and negative―through dowsing, these rods were part of an effort to unleash or locate natural phenomena buried within. More »

Vee Speers, ”The Birthday Party”

Vee Speers
Vee Speers, Untitled #30, 2007, image: Fotografiska Museet

Children can be forced to grow up at a lightning pace, for both wanted and unwanted exposures plague the false purity attributed to childhood. Vee Speers in her latest exhibition ”The Birthday Party” at Stockholm’s newly opened Fotografiska Museet presents more than a dozen oversized, illuminated portraits of costumed children, decorated in the light of pastels and creams, sharing the stage with well-chosen props, objects of shock and intrigue—even limp feral creatures. Not the cheerful embodiment of innocence, these children often allude to darker actions, discontented realities. Yet, they look as if en route to some fantastical version of a birthday party, even if it turns out to be nothing they’ve yet experienced or imagined. More »

Anders Petersen, From Back Home

Anders Petersen
Anders Petersen, From Back Home, 2008, image: Anders Petersen

Well-known Swedish photographer Anders Petersen has been taking photographs since he left home at eighteen, beginning in Hamburg, Germany in the ’60s with outsider figures and acquaintances at a bar called Café Lehmitz, leading up to his latest show at Stockholm’s Fotografiska Museet displaying a fine-tuned collection of 100 black and white photographs taken in Värmland, Sweden. With so many photographs displayed side by side, it is easy to overlook some, focusing more on others that more permanently find their way into the viewer’s domain of interest. More »

“Runaway Train”

Jenny Lindblom
Jenny Lindblom, Untitled (Limited Ambition), 2010, image: Bonniers Konsthall

Every spring at Bonniers Konsthall, an effort is made to share the work of emerging Swedish artists  that are considered to be cutting-edge, contemporary, and altogether de rigueur. The curators this round tried a different spin; they chose to focus on the works of eleven Swedish artists who now make work and reside outside Sweden—in other words, expatriates who have chosen to produce work under the influence of other cultures. Which begs the question: what makes these artists Swedish anyway? (Though nationality as an aesthetic construct has long passed out of vogue at places such as the Whitney Museum of American Art or at the Venice Biennale where Liam Gillick last represented Germany.) When examined more closely, does an artist possess a right or responsibility to identify with one’s origin, considering morphing notions of immigration, homeland and patriotism? More »

Tony Matelli, “The Constant Now”

Tony Matelli
Tony Matelli, The Constant Now, 2010, image: Andréhn-Schiptjenko

“The Constant Now,” Tony Matelli’s fourth solo exhibition at this gallery, presents five new sculptures and three paintings that are reminiscent of his previous explorations. For example, there are obvious similarities between his sculpture Josh, 2010, and Sleepwalker, 2001: Both eerily depict displaced human figures and appear to be conspicuous mockeries. This show more fully formulates a question that his earlier work touched on: What particular value can be found in art that overstates a seemingly directionless, wasted state of being? More »

Tom Friedman, “Up In The Air”

Tom Friedman
Tom Friedman, Up In the Air, 2009, mixed media, dimensions variable, image: Christian Saltas

The first solo exhibition in Scandinavia by the Leverett, Massachusetts–based artist Tom Friedman is titled “Up in the Air,” and it asks for a heightened consideration of what consitutes a meaningful experience, in hopes of upgrading the possibilities of artistic production. Although some might find Friedman’s work inaccessible or view it as the output of someone with too much free time, such reactions perhaps bespeak a certain impatience and ingratitude toward what we have and what we are, stances that risk locking us into the predicament of feeling disconnected from current artmaking strategies. It can be difficult to appreciate an artist’s motivations when they seem unaffected by some mutually shared reality. Yet Friedman is sensitive to the gaps that inhere in subjective interpretation, leaving room for self-navigation. More »

Fredrik Söderberg, ”We Pray to the Sun and Hail the Moon”

Fredrik Söderberg
Fredrik Söderberg, Mandragora, 2009, watercolor on paper, 28 x 38, with frame: 53 x 43 cm, image: Milliken Gallery

This striking collection of Fredrik Söderberg’s watercolour paintings, entitled ‘We Pray to the Sun and Hail the Moon’, may inspire engaged viewers to question their relationship with infinity and perhaps even dissuade some from swallowing the world’s investment with spiritual redemption or continuing to embrace a detached narcissism. Söderberg’s charm lies in his explorative mapping of self-reflective spiritualisms, as well as in his ability to create provocative microcosms inspired by our own spheres—even if his works may appear cryptic to some. More »