Lars O. Ericsson

  • “Mirror’s Edge”

    Up until the 1970s the art world was, roughly speaking, a white male club headquartered in New York City. In the wider arena of culture, art had about the same status as tennis or golf in the world of sports; but rather than Wimbledon or Pebble Beach, the art-world meccas were Kassel and Venice.

    Fortunately, things have changed in recent decades. In the multicultural, postcolonial present, West is not always best; the time of absolute, universal standards is ancient history. Parts of Europe have literally fallen to pieces. And the stiffening competition from the Pacific Rim, especially Japan, is

  • Håkan Rehnberg

    With his new paintings, Håkan Rehnberg continues along the narrow path he embarked on three years ago. But instead of plates of lead or steel, he now uses acrylic sheets as support—a rather “dead” or banal material that has the advantage of being relatively unencumbered, art-historically speaking. The character diptych, which during the ’80s was to some extent Rehnberg’s trademark, is replaced by an “abstraction” rich in color and texture. Yet one can still sense the form of the diptych by a middle axis sometimes faintly outlined.

    For Rehnberg, who has never been particularly interested in either

  • Truls Melin

    Truls Melin’s painted, glossy sculptures have been “fertilized” by American Minimalism, Continental theory, and Danish classicism. But Melin’s relation to his sources is definitely impure. The elements he uses seem terribly familiar: a table, a fence, an airplane, a dog, a teapot, an engine, a submarine. They are, however, combined with abstract, geometric forms into fragmented wholes that defy every attempt at categorization. At once conceptually elusive and spatially assertive, Melin’s works create a paradoxical, slightly absurd impression.

    Batyskaf (Bathyscaphe, 1992) is a submarine placed on

  • Måns Wrange

    “The Wonderful World of Hobbies”—the title of Mans Wrange’s latest show—suggested a world of mild madness, obsessiveness, eccentricity, and dilettantism. As usual, Wrange’s installation was comprised of a number of short narratives. The characters this time around were four fictional hobbyists, each representing a particular type of “mania”: first, a systematic collector of used chewing gum, who has placed his findings—about 400 specimens—in handsome shallow vitrines of patined wood. From a distance, the gum looks like a collection of minerals, or of rubble. The hobbyist

  • Dan Wolgers

    The farewell to our romantic/Modernist heritage has been a protracted affair, and seldom has this heritage been more radically questioned than by Dan Wolgers. The manifestation of Wolger’s work can be summed up in one word: absence. Absence of author, artwork, authenticity, signature, expression, fervor, truth, emotions, esthetic will, and personal style: generally speaking, an absence of all those values that traditionally have been associated with the artist, the work, and the relationship between them.

    Marcel Duchamp exhibited his bottle rack and “fountain.” Jeff Koons never lays a hand on

  • “Equals”

    Photography is a perfect illustration of Friedrich Nietzsche’s contention that every concept originates by equating the unequal. Strictly speaking, only a techno-chemical process unites everything we refer to as “photographs.” The “promiscuity” of photography—its malleability and tremendously varied applications—tends, however, to be obliterated as soon as we approach the gallery or the museum. In most photo exhibitions the diversity, complexity, and social dimensions of photography are tempered in favor of a formal, esthetic, and apolitical approach. This medium of mass communication par

  • H. H. Lim, Paolo Laudisa

    Camouflage and disguise are recurrent strategies in contemporary art. The work looks as if it were one thing, but it is something else; a gap exists between the work’s appearance and its being, between its Schein and Sein. A painting may look like a photograph or vice versa; what seems to be a massive body may be no more than a thin, hollow shell; and a form that represents one thing may signify something entirely different.

    H. H. Lim—a young Chinese artist living in Rome—and the Italian painter Paolo Laudisa present a variation of this strategy of disguise and deception. In their paintings form

  • Gunilla Wihlborg

    Gunilla Wihlborg’s installation, entitled Lusthus, (Pleasure house), combines multileveled symbolism with formal simplicity and precision. Three large houses made of stainless-steel sheets stand in a row in the long, narrow exhibition space. Two similar, but smaller houses—one of beeswax, the other of solid black rubber—rest on sturdy angle irons attached to the wall. In another room, Wihlborg has placed four smaller versions of her “pleasure house.” The shape is the same, but the materials vary, ranging from gold leaf (on a structure of wood), to stainless steel, lead, and concrete.

    Pencil

  • “Abject”

    The critique of subjectivity, which constituted a major artistic problematic during the ’80s—continues to yield interesting results. A central concern within postfeminist discourse is the degree of latitude for resistance to a subject formation conditioned by a predominantly male order. Must a refusal to comply always lead to illness or “perversion” (schizophrenia, sadomasochism, anorexia, homosexuality)? Or are there more “constructive” ways in which the resistance to patriarchy could manifest itself? How is the secret violence of language to be avoided? What exists in the space between subject

  • Leonard Forslund

    Subjekt och Dedikation MCMXC (Subject and dedication MCMXC, 1989-90) is the title of Leonard Forslund’s latest work. Though the painting is gigantic (ca. 96 by 1164 inches), I am determined not to be swept off my feet by the impressiveness of its physical dimensions. The work is painted in a cold blue-green hue. Upon this smooth ocean of color Forslund has placed a number of ocher rectangles, no less smoothly painted. To begin with, the enormous work feels as numb as it is big. But as I walk along the painting, it gradually “opens up.” On the mute surface I discover a number of traces, traces

  • Eva Löfdahl

    Stylistically, Eva Löfdahl is something of a chameleon. In the beginning of the ’80s her works were rough, ironic, fragmentary, and provocative. Soon she turned to more sophisticated expressions. In 1983 she began making a series of seemingly neoconstructivist object paintings. These very reduced, almost minimal pieces hovered between figuration and abstraction. In 1986 she created a number of black-and-white drip paintings, exploring a more spontaneous or informal idiom. The following year she expanded that investigation to comprise three-dimensional boxlike objects covered with splashes of

  • Jan Svenungsson

    Photography’s double nature means that it can represent such disjunctures as the monster and the myth. The monster is, according to René Girard, not only a combination of already distinct elements, but it is a new unity, threatening order and differentiation by affirming the irreconcilability of these elements. The “monstrosity” of photography––art and nonart, subject and object––makes it a perfect symbol of dissolution and crisis, not only in art but in society at large. On a fundamental level, this explains the central role of photography in post-Modern discourse. The photographic image is