Ulrik Samuelson, ”After Nature”

Ulrik Samuelson, Installation View, 2013, image: Lars Bohman Gallery

Though this exhibition—an interplay between paintings, installation, and sculpture—is Ulrik Samuelson’s first at the gallery, the Swedish artist has for decades made work with a distinctive style that also characterizes his public commission at the Kungsträdgården metro station. What strikes one as particularly Samuelsonesque is both a sense of regal power (evoked via classic architectural motifs, Nordic nature scenes, and intersecting geometric shapes), and notions of masculinity explored through sublime color schemes and unflinching landscapes that penetrate the psyche. Shades of amber and russet contrast with blackened charcoal, leaving paintings aflame, violently yearning. Serving as tribute to Samuelson’s now-deceased brother, a shrinelike installation connects works from over the course of the artist’s career, functioning as entry into a private world made accessible. Majestic images of black and white trees wrap around the room, the center of which features a gold-plated, slanted wall resembling the shingled rooftop of a transcendent palace, dominating a light green sculpture in the foreground. Throughout this exhibition, Samuelson asserts the value of solitude and cultivates a safe zone for contemplation.

The artist cajoles viewers into renegotiating their ideas of traditional ornamentation, integrating objects such as draperies and podiums, which, from one perspective, do not simply serve as spatial placeholders but aspire to carry significance. As if these objects remind us that nothing is ever what it seems, “Efter naturen” (After Nature) slithers between a futuristic netherworld and a foreboding, mythological one, hinting at a timeless alternative to reality. None of these works introduce the human form, instead conjuring energy from aureate mountain slopes, the seductively alluring moon, or the omniscient sky. French Impressionism, Carl Fredrik Hill, and Edvard Munch appear to be influences. Gaston Bachelard argues in The Poetics of Space (1994) that the function of poetry is to give us back the situations of our dreams. From this perspective, differentiating between poetry and Samuelson’s paintings might well be futile.

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Johannes Heldén, “The Exploding Book”

Johannes Heldén
Johannes Heldén, Clouds, 2017.

As one enters the space temporarily designated for Swedish artist and poet Johannes Heldén’s The Exploding Book at Konstakademin’s in Stockholm, one detects that Heldén is receptive to nuance; each creative gesture confirms his dedication to both text and image, expressed with equitable consideration. More »

Malin Gabriella Nordin, “Floating from Within”

Malin Gabriella Nordin, Veil of Dreams, 2017. Image: Gallery Steinsland Berliner.

Stockholm-based artist Malin Gabriella Nordin is one of many Swedish women artists who resort to the basics – or perhaps the old ways, meaning they’re not particularly interested in the digital. More »

“Survival Kit 9”

Andris Eglītis, Laboratory of Poetic Research, 2017. Image: Jacquelyn Davis.

The 9th edition of Survival Kit is orchestrated by a small team of Baltic and Scandinavian curators: Jonatan Habib Engqvist, Solvita Krese and Inga Lāce. All possess a background in organizing independently and within the confines of institutions, which may be their strong point—their fluidity. More »

The 9th Momentum Biennial

Jenna Sutela, Sporulating Paragraph, 2017. Image: Momentum 9.

Momentum 9, taking place in the industrial town of Moss, Norway, is being curated by Ulrika Flink, Ilari Laamanen, Jacob Lillemose, Gunhild Moe, and Jón B.K. Ransu, who together represent the Scandinavian region. With this biennial’s focus on ‘alienation’, the curators joined forces to determine how alien processes and entities are infused in our lives through technological, ecological and social transformations. More »

Klas Eriksson, “Vet din mamma var du e?”

Klas Eriksson
Klas Eriksson, Evidence of Patchwork, 2017. Image: Göteborgs Konsthall.

Swedish artist Klas Eriksson has developed a practice rooted in examining subcultures via works in public spaces and spontaneous performances. With an interest in how power flows and how crowds function, the artist attempts to unpack sociopolitical dynamics using playful tactics. More »

Lovisa Ringborg, “Night Remains”

Lovisa Ringborg
Lovisa Ringborg, Fountain, 2017. Image: Cecilia Hillström Gallery.

In Lovisa Ringborg’s second exhibition at this gallery, the artist upholds the argument that displaying a set of harmonious works can be more potent than a plethora of free-floating entities. More »

Przemek Pyszczek, “1989”

Przemek Pyszczek
Przemek Pyszczek, Public Relief No 6, 2016. Image: Gallery Belenius.

Polish-born, Canadian-raised, Berlin-based artist Przemek Pyszczek displays new works which are primarily sculptural and mixed media, with stints into collage. More »

Ulf Rollof, “Kleptomaniac”

Ulf Rollof
Ulf Rollof, Hungry Stranded, 2016. Image: CFHILL.

Sequestered above the restaurant Nosh & Chow in Stockholm (designed by Barcelona-based Lázaro Rosa-Violán), renowned Swedish artist Ulf Rollof’s current solo exhibition is the last installment in a trilogy that began in Mexico City. More »


Magdalena Dziurlikowska, Corona Radiata, 2016. Image: Gotlands Konstmuseum.

Differentiating between public and private spheres can be challenging. This group exhibition focuses on how one might successfully share a subjective experience when most individuals are conditioned to distance themselves from others. More »