Truls Melin

Lars Bohman Gallery

At lunch with Truls Melin the week his new exhibition opened, we talked about his seven months in a mental institution, how he got there, and the exhibitions he has made since. This was his twelfth. The figurines were in his familiar ingenuous style; he describes them as “drunken” sailors. Togged up in naval uniforms, each statuette was slotted into a maze of steel conduits, and with all the shutdown valves interspersed throughout the piping, the allusion to the claustrophobic quarters of submarines was obvious. The structures and figures were uniformly painted in that cool green color proven to be calming yet gently energizing in places like subs, surgeries, and insane asylums where, in a heartbeat, things can go from numbing routine to hair on fire, fangs out. Metaphorically out of their depth and under the influence, the doomed seamen are consigned to an absurdly hermetic, commotion-free,

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