Lars Englund

Galerie Aronowitsch

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 a series of simple, identical, and prefabricated modules, he constructs fragmentary, molecular structures of great variety and complexity. These three-dimensional, quasi-organic structures, although reminiscent of broken chromosomal chain s or crystalline agglomerates, are in fact neither purely abstract nor purely representational. Englund does not portray nature or natural processes. His works are analogous to nature; theyparallel it, without depicting it. In this respect, Englund resembles Paul Klee and especially Jean Arp. But in distinction to the work of these Modernist pioneers, his sculptures are open-ended, unbounded.

In this show Englund adheres to his basic approach strictly. Bodies made of carbon fiber bands and constructions consisting of small units of polished steel hang from the ceiling. Through division, the seem to breed and expand in all directions The novelty of this exhibition is tha Englund also has placed a number of flat rectangular forms on the wall. From distance they look like something in be tween a large jigsaw puzzle and an Op-ar painting. On closer inspection, however they reveal themselves to be made o thousands of pieces of plastic, colored i bright, artificial hues. In spite of their limited, rectangular forms, these pieces also seem to extend ad infinitum beyond their physical confines. In these hybrids, there is neither center nor periphery, neither hierarchy nor representation. They are not pictures, but two-dimensional, multicolored objects. Their artificiality notwithstanding, they seem to convey a strange sensation of nature’s presence. Perhaps because they are built according to the principles of cell construction, rather than trying to mimetically represent nature, looking at them fills the viewer with a sublime feeling of walking through a forest in the fall, with the sunlight shimmering through the foliage.

Lars O. Ericsson