Katarina Löfström / Jesper Nyrén Siktlinjer (Sightlines)

27 May - 8 October 2023

Plats: Konsthallen (nedre plan)

Katarina Löfström / Jesper Nyrén Siktlinjer (Sightlines)

In our summer exhibition at the gallery we are pleased to present two artists – Katarina Löfström and Jesper Nyrén – who share a number of connections in their artistic praxis. Primarily they share an interest in the visual, in abstraction and figuration which they each develop in their own light based on various points of departure.

Both artists are inspired by landscape and horizons but this is seldom presented directly. Rather, the impulse is refined and filtered through the artistic process. The finished artworks leave only traces of the initial impulse or visual image. Instead, sensations appear and immaterial states as essential aspects of the completed works.

Influences from artistic predecessors are also a common denominator. Katarina Löfström relates to spiritual and philosophical artistic movements from the late 19th century, while one source of inspiration for Jesper Nyrén is the Italian Renaissance. In the exhibition Katarina Löfström presents video art, painterly prints and sculptures. Jesper Nyrén shows a succession of paintings of varying sizes as well as paper-based art.

Katarina Löfstöm

Katarina Löfström works primarily with video art, digital animations, sound art and sculptural installations. In the current exhibition, she also presents paintings in the form of digital prints. Her art often occupies the borderland between distinct focus and dreamlike states.

An urban landscape, a horizon or a photograph can inspire her, but the very essence in her works is often concerned with feelings, phenomena and concepts. She also shows an interest in different stages of consciousness such as wakefulness, daydreams, trancelike states and the condition of hypnagogia, but also of optical phenomena in relation to sound.

Using repetitive movements, loops, reflections and lighting effects she creates works that strengthen and concentrate certain phenomena. In this way she manipulates our perception of the fleeting borders of what we regard as reality. With video art and paintings with the title Point Blank there are two totally different forms of picture that are related to each other: targets (to kill) and mandalas (meditation). Both require profound concentration but with diametrically different content and meaning.

Katarina Löfström also has a strong relationship with the sea and has increasingly interested herself in Hilma af Klint’s visual world in whose family there were numerous naval officers and cartographers. Hilma af Klint was a skilled navigator, and several of her works are somewhat reminiscent of seamarks, something that Katarina Löfström refers to in a series of graphic designs and sculptures.

Outside the museum she is showing Open Source consisting of linked gleaming sequins that reflect the sky and the sea in which fiction and reality merge. Mirroring is close to her interest in film-like effects, in which the relation between surface and the depths, solid and fleeting is elucidated. This is also a way in which she can stage animations and moving images in full daylight. One important ambition lies in studying and extending her own artistic field and creating innovative works beyond the rational and conventional.

Jesper Nyrén

At first glance, and viewed from a distance, Jesper Nyrén’s glimmering paintings can be seen as compositions of abstract fields of colour in which the form is often square or rectangular. Seen close to the paintings unfold into a number of cleverly composed smaller works – several paintings in one – opening for multiple interpretations in relation to time and space. In careful observations of the landscape Jesper Nyrén registers his impressions and sensations at different times of the year and in different places, often using photographs and drawings. In the finished pictures light, atmosphere and materiality unite in subtle fashion, recreating the experienced moment for the viewer.

The construction of the paintings relies on a loose symmetry of parts which are ultimately balanced in regard to each other in both use of colour and composition. In specific parts the material sometimes gives evidence of brush marks while at times a smoother surface can be noted in which variant colours and materiality are present. Jesper Nyrén makes use of oil paint, beeswax and acrylic in creating a shift and a change of tempus in the expression of the colours. Interaction takes place between the concealing and the transparent surfaces.

The range of colours and the mood of the paintings can be traced back to the landscape and to settings that Jesper Nyrén has visited such as the island of Björkö in the province of Roslagen where he has lived for many years. There are also traces of his journeys in Aix-en-Provence in the shadow of Cézanne, or in northern Italy where Piero della Francesca and Fra Angelico were both active. His palette varies in the different parts: earthy scents merge into musty moss-green, cold marine blue shifts from pale-blue summer skies to a warm red evening sun in pink and orange tones. Here Jesper Nyrén combines skilled construction with a sensitive presence. The exhibition also includes a pair of works of larger format in which the viewer can almost “enter into” the work and momentarily experience it.

Using small but carefully graded gestures together with a strong faith in colour as the fundamental element, Jesper Nyrén communicates sensations and experiences that find their way to the beholder’s eye but that also stimulate other senses, creating a powerful visual poetry.