Critics’ Picks

Martin Jacobson, Landscape 7, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 3/8 x 76 3/4”.

Martin Jacobson, Landscape 7, 2014, oil on canvas, 100 3/8 x 76 3/4”.


Martin Jacobson

Andréhn-Schiptjenko Stockholm
Linnégatan 31
May 15–June 19, 2014

In Martin Jacobson’s third exhibition at this gallery, titled “Landscapes,” the Swedish artist has appropriated the archetypal nature panoramas of the decorative art often found in hotel rooms and flea markets. Jacobson has altered these images by incorporating unbelievable shades and hues that are nonexistent in reality. In Landscape 8, 2014, for example, he depicts skies that are neon blue and a forest that harbors rich shades of violet and plum. In Forest Pond, 2012, the artist has delicately painted the leaves in contrasting light and dark greens and speckled them with pink and yellow, creating an intimate vortex of tranquility. None of these works include defining landmarks or human figures, thereby emphasizing their solitude and isolation.

By combining found imagery with these particular color phenomena, Jacobson has in effect combined the past and present, the known and unfamiliar, accentuating how one can either resign to what is given or create another world entirely. Many of these paintings are infused with what at first could be noted as random vibrance, but when one views the thirteen paintings in this exhibition together, it becomes clear that the artist has mastered the painterly brushstroke and employs a calculated and variegated process. While the paintings range in size, these traits become more prevalent in Jacobson’s largest-scale works, such as Landscape 7, 2014, in which his prowess is made more obvious by the work’s encapsulating temporal magnitude.