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

  • Klaus vom Ruch

    Klaus vom Bruch’s installation, Surface to Surface, 1989, is based on radar recordings taken in Lapland. Vom Bruch has traveled around with a naval radar scanner mounted on the roof of his car, making a kind “landscape painting” of five famous tourist sites. The green, shimmering radar landscapes, after having been transferred to videotape, are shown on monitors enclosed in cases of black rubber and steel. Vom Bruch’s work has its roots in a European conceptual tradition that regards the idea or concept not as the dominant aspect of the work; like artists such as Marcel Broodthaers, Daniel Buren,

  • Mans Wrange

    Both hot and cool, passionate and skeptical, sensuous and conceptual, Mans Wrange’s work creates an intense feeling of ambivalence and ambiguity. His installations include a mixture of short narratives. In his new one, Wrange introduces three fictional characters, all of them obsessed by a romantic longing for perfection, immediacy, or truth. But in one way or another, they all fail. Wrange is not, however, simply playful and ironic regarding his characters and their noble aspirations. Like any good author, he also seems to be genuinely fascinated by them. His texts, pictures, and objects, in

  • Ytkraft—Ung Dansk Skulptur

    In the last four or five years, a whole new group of Danish sculptors has emerged on the Scandinavian art scene. “Ytkraft—Ung dansk skulptur” (Surface power—Young Danish sculpture) is a group show exhibiting eight of the most prominent members of this new generation. Perhaps the most characteristic feature of their work is that it neither seeks a further expansion of the sculptural field nor tries to break down the barrier between art and life. Its originality resides, instead, in an effort to destabilize the classical and modernist conceptions of sculpture from within. The work, not its relation

  • Lars Englund

    Uncompromising consistency, a sophisticated formal program,and an impersonal, inexpressive style have been the chief characteristics of sculptor Lars Englund’s work since the early ’60s. With the Bauhaus tradition and Constructivism as his initial platform, Englund has gradually developed a body of work that transcends the Modernist demand for unity. Instead of classical materials such as bronze and marble, he uses contemporary industrial elements: rubber, cloth, graphite, fiber, plastic, and polished steel.

    Englund’s sculptures and installations are often based on minimalist principles. Out of

  • Alfredo Jaar, Ronald Jones

    Both Alfredo Jaar and Ronald Jones belong to the post-avant-garde that uses art to scrutinize the relationship between politics and culture. In the spirit of Marcel Duchamp, they infiltrate and manipulate various systems of representation. By acting as a couple of “undercover agents,” they attempt to undermine the infrastructure of the assigned, detached order of the world.

    Jaar created an installation specifically for the context of this large space. As in most of his recent work, this three-part installation consists of photographic transparencies installed in light boxes. But in distinction

  • Stefan Karlsson

    Not only is the art of Stefan Karlsson hard to pin down, but the artist himself is quite elusive. He does not appear under his own name, but takes cover behind a fictitious enterprise called Paperpool International Corporation (PIC). Or perhaps fictitious is not the right word. It may be more accurate to say that Karlsson operates in a gray zone between fiction and reality. This allows him to criticize and satirize both the art world and the socio-political, corporate context surrounding art.

    In this show PIC presents its latest range of products. The works’ exposed structure and boxlike format,

  • Maya Eizin

    Now that the transparency of Modernism has been replaced by the opacity of post-Modernism, and the world has been described by Jean Baudrillard as “a shattered windshield,” it seems as if the most versatile metaphor for our fractal, un-surveyable condition would be the fold. By being only partly visible, only partially accessible, and thus not totally controllable, the fold allows a retreat from the panopticon of modern society. The fold is not only a locus of secrecy, a refuge for evading an unfolding gaze, but an object of erotic desire. In this exhibition of Maya Eizin’s work, opacity, folds,