PRINT May 2017


Curated by Jo Widoff

To enter painter and filmmaker Marie-Louise Ekman’s world is to find oneself in a version of the Swedish sexual revolution that is at once decadent, poetic, stylish, biting, and funny. Ekman’s 1977 film Mamma, pappa, barn (Mother, Father, Child) presents a nuclear family weighed down by visual chaos that would do any installation artist proud; in the middle of it all, the titular young child fights for her freedom. The artist’s crisp, cartoonlike paintings in sugary colors, long ignored by critics, deftly question social relations as if from the inside of designs appropriated from Mondrian, Picasso, Dalí, and Disney. Theatricality is everywhere in her work, and no wonder: Ekman’s long career reached new heights with her 2009 appointment as director of the Royal Dramatic Theatre in Stockholm. With this summer’s presentation of more than two hundred works dating from the 1960s to the present, accompanied by an extensive catalogue, curator Jo Widoff promises to revisit the entire oeuvre of this multitalented artist, surely one of the most extraordinary voices of modern Sweden.