Nicholas Norton

  • Martin Sæther, Flowers #2, 2022, collage on handmade paper, artist frame, 20 1/8 × 24 3/4 × 1 3/8"
    picks May 03, 2022

    Martin Sæther

    The work of Oslo-based artist Martin Sæther references Scandinavian decorative traditions from the popular vernacular that are on the verge of disappearing. In his show at VI, VII, most of the works are wall-mounted reliefs crafted from paper bonded to canvas, their off-white surfaces patterned with barely visible bumps that repeat at regular intervals. The effect is recognizable as an imitation of the fiberglass “strie” wallpaper commonly found in middle-class homes in Norway from the 1970s until the late ’80s.

    Today, it isn’t unheard of for trend-conscious Norwegians to renovate spaces that

  • Johanne Hestvold, Demonstration (Zaryandye Park), 2021, mycelium composite, concrete, 29 1/2 x 55 x 39 31/2".
    picks February 09, 2021

    Johanne Hestvold

    The five sculptures here are large, almost brutalist-looking vessels that stand on imposing concrete plinths. Together, they exude both ceremony and mystery, as if constructed by some long-gone civilization. Each shape is based on a discarded takeaway container, collected by Hestvold from public parks, which she redraws digitally and mills into oversized moulds. The artist fills the forms with Ganoderma, a type of fungi, and hemp shavings; the latter activates the fungi, causing it to grow. The resulting material, mycelium composite, is alive but in a state of hibernation. It has a rough and

  • Ida Ekblad, SLUMS OF PARADISE, 2020, oil on linen, 71 x 55".
    picks November 23, 2020

    Ida Ekblad

    In SLUMS OF PARADISE (all works 2020), one of seven new paintings in Ida Ekblad’s show “Slice of the Inaccessible,” a white net seems to have captured a jumble of swirling red, black, and green patterns. The paint is applied with thick impasto, leaving deep brush marks as well as an oil-stained shadow on the unprepared canvas.

    Ekblad’s art possesses a gluttonous appetite for visual culture, and the above-mentioned net is an apt analogy for her paintings’ wide reach, if also their arresting effect on the viewer. A small watercolor titled ARTERY WALLS AND OTHER SOFT LIVING TISSUES fuses Matisse-like