Astrid Svangren Maria Stenfors Gallery, London March 2 – April 5, 2012
Maria Stenfors in London is delighted to present the first solo presentation of Astrid Svangren (1972) at the gallery. She was born in Gothenburg and lives and works in Copenhagen. Svangren’s exhibition is introduced with a long title, which evolves perpendicular to the artworks’ progression, harnessing and summarising the essence of the body of works.
A longing for the bestowed Towards or through it Crushed Absolutely nonexistent Flickering uncontrollably To be able to move again As if the sun turned pain golden
The colours, surfaces, folds and structures of the works then form the non-verbal language of the presentation. It is clear from the outset that that the space is now reconstructed by Svangren, spelling out a metamorphosed landscape. The entrance is obstructed by a folding partition of wood and perforated metal. Past the wall lie paintings of Plexiglas and fabric, a wooden frame draped elegantly yet oppressively with swathes of antique lace and further works folded and suspended from the ceiling. The light translucent works are direct facets of the hard reflective paintings and are the defence, illustration and illusion of the paintings’ projection. The works move, they open and close for us, when the motion from the light air disturbances push the fabric at will, revealing an invisible current.
The installation plays with a complex dichotomy between strong and fragile. The work, whether it is a reflective surface, paper or fabric, gives the illusion of fragility and illusiveness. However, the process of making is quite the opposite; the works have a clear structure and whether they are mounted with thin nails or a piece of string, they hold strong. In the works there is a process of alchemy and an act of caretaking, through repeated breaking, washing, colouring and mending. The object’s strength becomes founded in the complexity of the fabrication. Herein lies a key value to Svangren’s work.
Astrid Svangren graduated from Malmö Art Academy in 1998. A selection of recent and forthcoming exhibitions include: Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, 2011; Bohusläns Konsthall, Uddevalla, 2011; Moderna Museet Stockholm, 2010; ‘What I remember…’, Moderna Museet, Malmö, 2009; National Gallery of Denmark, 2012; Artipelag, Stockholm, 2012 and The Wanas Foundation, Knislinge, 2012.