Acrylic paint on canvas
195 x 150 cm each
Ubiquitous colour and the timeless grid
The Atlas series is painted with light washes of acrylic paint on linen canvas. In these grid compositions translucent
paint runs down the surface from square patches of soft colour. Ambiguously, the running paint seem to be both unravelling the monochrome patchwork and holding it together.
The grid structure, the monochrome scheme of running paint and the practicalities of a vertical canvas provide the framework in which a sequence of variables and permutations are set in motion. Irregularities of hand, line and mark, opacity of colour and intensity of tone, variations in pattern and rhythm determine the perceptual shifts in the pictorial space. As these variables unfold, they become the elements that activate and identify each painting.
These paintings draw on and document predetermined restrictions in combination with the force of the unpredictable
and the power of colour. They contain and suggest formal aspects and concepts such as: light and lightness as in an emphasis on the reflection of light, impressions of lightness, lightness of touch, gravity as in the weight and downward pull of gravity, infinity as in infinite variations - painted images that do not repeat identically.
Vibrant, subtle, mutable colour. Stark and gentle. Reticent and exuberant. Emotional and psychological colour.
The relative, relational, associative and often irrational quality of colour functions as a counterweight to the systematic network of the grid.
Fringe (I - XI) 2017 – 2018
Imbiß (I - IX) 2016 – 2017
Acrylic paint on canvas, 150 x 150 cm each
Fleeting bites of time
Painting is a physical and material passage in time. In these square canvases monochromatic traces of swift activity dominate. Working with translucent washes, horizontal rows of repeated marks are rapidly sponged across the canvas: fast notations of abstract utterances running from left to right, traces of movement in paint and colour. Exploring a fast pace of painting asks for immediacy and swift action. The instantaneity of the gestural articulation, the overall rhythm of overlapping colour and the interruptions of gesture activate the making and the reading of the painting.
2013 – 2017
Wall mosaics for Stockholm Odenplan Station, Stockholm City Line
Public Commission: SL Storstockholms Lokaltrafik
Two glass mosaic wall panels: 2,50 x 16,25 m and 2,50 x 20,90 m
We generally know ornament as accessory and adornment that creates a particular aesthetic order. I have a vivid childhood memory of colouring strips of paper with wax crayons to make decorative paper chains. When hanging they activated and dramatically changed the space. A combination of this memory with questions about the function of ornament was the starting point for this public art commission.
With a rococo inspired palette of coral, apricot, pastel blues and greens, white, pewter, silver and gold, I made a sculptural object with canvas chains made from painted strips of canvas. The canvas object was subsequently photographed, details were selected and enlarged. In turn these images were processed by digital media into pixelated images and finally produced as large mosaic surfaces. The format and expression of the original canvas chains is transformed and abstracted by the successive translations of material and media and by the dynamics of scale.
My interest in the textile qualities and sculptural possibilities of painting are active elements of this work. The drama of scale, the social and cultural role of ornament, the language of representation and abstraction, translation and transformation are integral aspects of Länk.
Länk examines and celebrates movement through urban spaces. How the physical impact of scale shapes our behaviour and response to being in public space, with its rush and push and moments of solitude and detachment.
In this work ornament functions as both a conceptual and a figurative motif to create a physical-spatial experience. The dialogue between the scale of the human figure and the large mosaic surfaces is an integral part of experiencing the work. The colourful, rolling chain-motif represents sequence and succession of events. The large mosaics function as a visual marker and symbol that facilitates recognition and orientation in the vast underground surroundings of the Odenplan station.
2011 – 2014
Combining formal and material restraint with notions of excess and décor I started to work with reference to decorative paraphernalia such as garlands, chains, frills and fringes. It's intriguing how the aesthetic device of ornament can trigger such powerful responses as delight and antagonism.
c-print, 100 x 120 cm
A modest gravestone simply inscribed with the name Achilles.
Mind How You Go
c-print, 120 x 100 cm
2006 – 2008
This body of work includes two installations, Trouble in Utopia and Fearful Symmetry, and a series of paintings titled Pearl.
A folly is a building that to a great extent functions as ornament. The best follies are wonderfully mad and eccentric constructions. As monuments to affluence and excess they seem to represent both function and dysfunction in society.
Trouble in Utopia is a horizontal expanse of ninety-six stacks. A temporary and unstable structure that consists of precisely stacked wooden elements. The balance of the entire grid construction is precarious and at risk, implying aspects of tension, erosion and collapse. Another active theme is colour: the unfixed, mutable nature of colour.
This work is a continuation of the earlier Lattice and Tartan works from 1997 – 2001.
The installation titled Fearful Symmetry includes ten silver monochrome paintings of organic figures that originate from large paint blots. The paintings are acrylic paint on acrylic glass. Small Walls (Gold) is also part of this installation and consists of five lightweight structures made of wooden elements that are placed unfixed on the floor. They function as simple boundary lines that define new interior spaces, creating a different and temporary order in the space. During the exhibition the Small Walls get displaced by unsuspecting visitors. Some people react by carefully rebuilding, others move swiftly on and away.
The symmetrical, organic emblems of the seven Pearl paintings are also derived from large paint blots.The making of paint blots requires actions of folding and unfolding to create unexpected images. The blots are random shapes, open, vacant images that await responses of association and reference. A pearl begins as a response to an irritant. An abnormality that grows, layer upon layer, to become a thing of value.
2001 – 2005
Pure and Promiscuous
Photography is an accessible and suggestive medium that encourages construction, exaggeration and distortion. Working with photography is an extension of my work with painting, sculpture and installation. Having addressed modernist dogma and redressed the Grid, I wanted to take a closer look at issues of nature and narration connected to
aspects of gender and vanity. In these photographic works I continue to examine the formal properties, attributes and connotations of the vertical and the horizontal. As paradox and paradigm Pure and Promiscuous is an active condition
of mutable circumstance open to changing perspectives and unpredictable outcomes.
I am Nature
Series of 8 c-prints, 84 x 69 cm each, 2001
The title refers to Jackson Pollock’s response to the question ‘Why don’t you paint nature?’
This series of ‘tree and fence’ images demonstrates identification with nature as a physical body.
I was interested in the impulse of attributing nature with human sensitivity and emotion. The various figures of ‘tree and fence’ depict interactions between the formal and the corporeal, between construction and nature. They underline a basic recognition of the interrelation of man and nature. Another interpretation could be ‘nature as the source of order’.
Series of 10 pairs, c-print, 100 x 83 cm each (x 2), 2002-2004
Paradoxical phrases such as ‘pointedly foolish’, ‘seriously funny’, ‘bitter sweet’ and ‘pretty ugly', became the starting
point for this series of paired photographs.The word ‘close’ changes due to context, intonation and pronunciation. Shifting meaning from the near and connected into an enclosed place or a stifling atmosphere. 'Close' can imply similarity or a sense of intensity.
The arrangement of paired photographs invites considerations of repetition, sequence, contrast and comparison.
A collection of 'strangely familiar' episodes, obscure narratives and intimate observations.
A matter of being close, not closed.
Series of 6 c-prints, 89 x 70 cm each, 2003
By making a spectacle of myself, I address aspects of perception, body and gender.
The series titled Impression refers to the body as material for aesthetic creation and site for experience and contemplation. Skin as a border between self and the world. A notion of art practice as a ‘second skin’ that absorbs and protects. What is only skin deep and what gets under your skin?
1997 – 2001
Lattice and Tartan
Painting, three-dimensional constructions and installation
The horizontal and vertical directions of the grid meet textile connotations and questions of clan identity.
Scottish tartans are vibrant grid patterns, traditionally woven as a woollen cloth, each clan with their own pattern and heroic motto. The grid is a basic formal device that became an emblem and visual motto for modernism and minimalism. Imagine Piet Mondrian dancing boogie-woogie in a kilt.
1997 – 1998
Stage curtain for the main auditorium of Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Public commission: Statens Konstråd, Stockholm
Velvet, H x B: 4,6 x 17 m
Velvet is probably the most common fabric used for stage curtains. I was interested in the interplay of the alternating, contrasting qualities of the shiny and matt surface of the velvet textile. The contrasts of the visible and the hidden, the obverse and reverse sides of the fabric. The ordinarily reverse and hidden surface of the velvet fabric has been inverted and given a prominent position. This 'other side' of the velvet fabric is seen as two asymmetrically placed, pale green vertical stripes. The curtains monochrome vertical stripes have the same width as that of the surrounding wooden paneling. 'Ridå' is Swedish for stage curtain.
1994 – 1995
After working with the dense symbolism of the Major Arcana, I wanted to use colour as a lighter, purer substance, unnamed other than as content. The interior of each Container consists of different combinations of monochrome
planes. The reflected colour from these painted surfaces creates illusory and luminous spaces. A vertical opening in
each Container controls physical access. The more open the Container is to physical entry the fainter the interior
colour becomes. The most closed Container gives a dark and black impression. The remaining four Containers give impressions of glowing red, fluorescent green, blushing rose, and evaporating pink.
1991 – 1993
Twenty-two paintings, oil on canvas, 192 x 82 cm each
I laughed at the humorous yet derisive interpretation of the abstract-geometric image being a 'sleeping man with large sombrero' (two concentric circles, a small circle within a much larger). The friction between the abstract and the representational, the self-referential and the symbolic-narrative called for closer inspection.
The symbols and allegories of the Tarot present a curious and compelling mix of the popular and the obscure.
The twenty-two trump cards and Major Arcana of the Tarot, numbered 0 – 21, can be interpreted as a pictorial procession of life’s significant events. Used for fortune telling, the Tarot is connected to occult divination and esoteric traditions such as the Kabbalah and numerology.
In my version of the Major Arcana I tried to achieve balance between contrasting principles and conflicting dogma.
My intention was to combine a formal, minimalist vocabulary with vivid colour, quasi-figurative elements and highly symbolical, metaphorical titles.