Nicholas Norton

  • 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

  • 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