Gunnel Wåhlstrand, The Last Island, 2013
10.3 - 5.5 GUNNEL WÅHLSTRAND, SWEDEN
Gunnel Wåhlstrand creates the illusion that what we are looking at are greatly enlarged photographs. Her Indian ink paintings are characterised by an almost incredible precision in which she exploits her technique to the uttermost. Her starting point is a family album of photos from the 1940s and 50s. We enter quiet middle class drawing rooms and our gaze wanders across motionless landscapes. This is the artist’s way of establishing a link with her closest relatives whom she was never able to meet. She achieves this by granting the pictures adequate time and by slowly exploring her way back into her own family history. We see no obvious traces of the tragedies that scar life from time to time but the images nevertheless exude an invisible and timeless anxiety. Gunnel Wåhlstrand was born in 1974 in Uppsala and trained among other places at the Konsthögskolan in Stockholm.
JOE GRILLO, US
Pop art, graffiti, street art, dress and music – all is of equal importance in Joe Grillo’s colourful settings. He works with a visually overpowering style of painting and constantly transgresses the conventional boundaries of art. One of his driving forces is the artist collective Dearraindrop, started in 1998 and building on collective creativity beyond the restraints of the established art scene. This exhibition presents paintings and sculpture by Joe Grillo, born in 1980 on the Atlantic coast of the USA and trained at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He lives and works in New York.
TWEAKS - FROM THE MUSEUM COLLECTION, SWEDEN
The exhibition forms part of a project that focuses on creating meetings with the artworks in the Nordic Watercolour Museum’s collection. Five stimulating and widely differing artists have examined and discussed the collection with the art pedagogue Kristian Berglund. The result is an exhibition of the artists’ own works accompa- nied by those artworks from the collection that provided their inspiration. Participating artists: Elisabeth Billander, Henrik Bromander, Jesper Norda, Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson and Hendrik Zeitler.
IMAGE / Peter Land. Hurricane III, Copenhagen 11 december 1999, 2000
PETER LAND, BLACK PEDAGOGY
Bill Viola, The Messenger, 1996, Color video projection on large vertical screen mounted on wall in darkened space, amplified stereo sound / 7.6 x 9.1 x 9.8 m / Video Still / Photo: Kira Perov
Peter Land is a Danish artist whose eye spots what most people would never even notice. Step into his pictorial world and you embark on a bewildering journey among the memories and sensations of childhood. He was born in 1966 and trained in Denmark and England. In his art he works with various techniques and media, primarily with video, sculpture and detailed watercolour paintings. His watercolours trigger a sense of familiar recognition in the viewer through a pictorial imagery reminiscent of illustrated children’s books and strip cartoons. By use of bright colours, clear outlines and satirically exaggerated figures a sense of
grotesque comedy is generated. We become spectators to a drama in which laughter and terror are the competing characters. It is the child’s experience of the world around him that provides Peter Land’s focus. The child’s ability to use imagination in order to make sense of the incomprehensible and scary is paralleled by his desire to fit in and understand the rules of the adult world. In the title chosen for this exhibition, Black Pedagogy, Peter Land has given us a historical mirror in which to seek the interpretations we need. This concept refers to a method of upbringing that aims to dominate both body and will, and by threats of punishment seek to teach the child to exercise control. The exhibition includes both newly painted watercolour series along with a wide selection from Peter Land’s earlier production.
In the film room on the first floor, Peter Land’s film The Lake (1999) is shown in its full length, 11 minutes. Selected videos by Peter Land are shown on the first floor in Thordénrummet. The video works have been shortened and mixed together, the whole sequence Selected videos is 9 minutes.
1. Pink Space (1995)
2. Joie de vivre (1998)
3. The Staircase (1998)
4. The Ride (2003)
NATURE - FROM THE MUSEUM COLLECTION
23.9 - 2. 12
Interest in how the human eye experiences the world around us has enjoyed a long tradition. One of the aims of art is to interpret natural scenery through of our unique human temperament. Ideas regarding the depiction of nature have varied over time. The requirement of accurate depiction exists today alongside many other pictorial idioms of expression.
The Nordic Watercolour Museum here presents works from the museum’s own collection, and in all of them the theme of nature and natural scenery is richly represented. Artists from a range of different generations explore and express their thoughts and ideas about nature, in terms of both place and power. The works show distant landscape scenes of mountains and water but also depict the role of the human being in interplay with nature. There are also close studies of inner structures and patterns. The artists direct their gaze towards the shifting variations in the reality around them to enable them to express their impressions
in colour and form. But they also turn their gaze in toward the psyche and the history to represent other worlds than the physically visible.
Anna Bengtsson, Sverige / Kjell Ekström, Finland / Saara Ekström, Finland / Hreinn Friðfinnsson, Island / Peter Frie, Sverige / Georg Guðni, Island / Gunilla Hansson, Sverige / Torgeir Husevaag, Norge / Icelandic Love Corporation, Island / Kati Immonen,
Finland / Arne Isacsson, Sverige / Lars Lerin, Sverige / Lena Mattsson, Sverige / Tone Myskja, Norge / Adam Saks, Danmark
BILL VIOLA; USA
Life's deepest mystery intrigues the American artist Bill Viola. He was born in 1951 in New York and has developed video as an art form for over 35 years. He has created a number of unforgettable works of art in which the impression of moving images, sound and the exhibition space interacts. Viola uses the latest technology as his tool, inspired by both Renaissance compositions and Zen Buddhism philosophy. Water and movement are essential to both life and watercolour art. The exhibition invites you, with help from moving image, to a series of vivid images - contemporary tableaux vivants - where the water and the transformation of birth, life and death are at the center. Violas works are displayed in museums around the world and he is represented at the Tate Modern in London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.
MEXICO – POETRY AND POLITICS
– Watercolours and Animations
Poetry and Politics – Watercolours and Animations from Mexico is an exhibition in collaboration with Professor Mark Johnson of San Francisco State University and Julio Morales as visiting guest curator. The museum presents the work of leading contemporary Mexican artists, often choosing to work in conceptual manner and whose underlying themes make frequent references to Mexico’s turbulent political climate. The artists displayed include Francis Alÿs, Erick Beltrán, Máximo Gonzales, Dr. Lakra, Ilán Leberman, Teresa Margolles, Gabriel Orozco and Jaime Ruiz Otis. The exhibition is concerned to reveal how contemporary art handles urgent topics in the complex everyday life of Mexico, a life marked by recurring confrontations, violence and abuse. But it also deals with the beautiful and poetic elements of harsh daily existence. Another theme will show how contemporary art establishes links to those well known earlier generations of artists firmly rooted in Mexican culture. We shall be focusing on links with Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, José Guadalupe Posada, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros.
PLAY TIME – from the Museum Collection
Children play to learn about their surroundings, how things work, what the body can do, to understand their feelings and to learn about life. Play, research and learning are closely linked. How is this reflected in art? This winter’s selection from the museum’s collection of contemporary watercolours lays stress on play and imagination. The museum’s art collection is an ongoing and major part of the museum’s activities. Since its opening in 2000 the museum has purchased works from more than a hundred artists from all five Nordic countries. The collection represents a Nordic treasure trove of almost a thousand works, and grows steadily year by year.
Bild: Petri Hytönen, Happening in Legocity 1
LOUISE BOURGEOIS, FRANCE /USA
During the autumn of 2010 the museum will be exhibiting work by the world famous artist Louise Bourgeois, who died on 31 May 2010, aged 98.
Louise Bourgeois was born on 25 December 1911 in Paris, but was resident in New York from 1938. She made her debut in the mid 1940s but her breakthrough was not until she was 71 when she was honoured with a separate exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1982.
Among her best known works are The Destruction of the Father, 1974, and the giant spider Maman, 1999.
Her unique art and her personal and expressive style have placed her at the forefront of contemporary art. Her work is characterized by experimentation within a range of different materials, and her favourite themes include birth, sexuality and death, often depicted in an exploration of the relations existing between the father, mother and child.
Together with several sculptures, the exhibition presents works in gouache on paper, focused on birth and the relationship between mother and child. These fantastic and tender works from the last years of her artistic career raised the art of Louise Bourgeois to new dimensions. They display a rare intimacy, warmth and sensitivity towards life’s innermost essence.
Picture: © Louise Bourgeois Trust
ANDREW WYETH, USA
Study for “Blue measure”, 1959
Watercolour, 38,6 x 57,7 cm The Marunuma Art Park Collection
Study for “Woodstove”, 1962, Watercolour,
54 x 75,6 cm
The Marunuma Art Park Collection
Alvaro and others raking blueberrries, 1942
Watercolour, 54,6 x 75,6 cm
The Marunuma Art Park Collection
21.3 - 2.5
The Nordic Watercolour Museum presents an exhibition of the work of Elina Merenmies – one of Finland’s leading contemporary artists – and her dark but fascinating world.
The movie about Elina Merenmies
In a strange but characteristic way the art of Elina Merenmies follows in the footsteps of figurative tradition. She sketches with Indian or regular ink on paper and paints in oil and tempera on canvas and board. At times she chooses to combine acrylic and oils. The size of her works ranges from small drawings to gigantic paintings. She has been represented in the collections of the Nordic Watercolour Museum for many years and has participated in several of the museum’s collective exhibitions.
Her images are unique meeting points for myths, folktales, dreams and hallucinations. There are traces in her pictorial idiom of her previous experience from working with performance art, experimental music and novel painting techniques – an instance of the latter being computer-aided painting. Her artistry has developed further in recent years and been recognised on the international art scene.
Merenmies creates ambiguous narratives which often seen to be based on the artist’s inner visions. Her style is expressive but she also captures precise details. The cast of characters and the tales she narrates reveal a leaning towards unconventional and unusual phenomena. Regardless of whether she depicts portraits or landscapes the interest in her paintings is directed towards an existential darkness. Her pictures seem to lay bare human anxiety, loneliness, fear and deformity. Suffering often plays a dominant role. But pain is accompanied by empathy, distress is comforted by hope. Merenmies is in this way linked to the tradition in Christian art of depictions of the death of martyrs, and her work is inspired at times by biblical narratives. An aspect of her art is thus that it appeals to the sympathy of the viewer. Among her most significant literary influences are the terror-romances of Edgar Allan Poe.
Elina Merenmies was born in Espoo, Finland, in 1967. Following studies in Finland, Belgium and the Czech Republic she today lives and works in Helsinki. She can look back on some sixty successful exhibitions. Her art is represented at the Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst in Denmark, at the Helsinki city art museum and at KIASMA to name a few.
Contemporary Nordic Comics
The contemporary comics sceen seethes with activity. More and more people are reading and making sophisticated comics. The potential offered by this meeting of images and text appear inexhaustible and today’s Nordic comics exhibit a striking range of both pictorial idiom and content. The stylish and the elegant rubs shoulders with the childishly cute and with consciously raw and brutal depictions of life.
For the museum’s opening exhibition 2010 we focus on contemporary Nordic creators of comics. With the help of 17 invited artists we are mounting an exhibition that varies during the exhibition period.
We will offer unique original pictures, workshops and a wide-ranging programme of activities, lectures and concerts.