Sidan uppdaterades: 30 maj 2024

Momentum is a concept that describes the driving force of an entity, a forward movement, or a moment. It is based on the Latin word movere, which means move, but it is also a rhetoric term for one of the orator’s tasks, to move the listener emotionally. Today, the term is used in many fields, and often in sports.

Konsthall 16 is celebrating its first five years. The inaugural exhibition Sports Memories opened in February 2019 and featured new acquisitions to the art collection that was started by the founder Tore A Jonasson. This year’s presentation of recent acquisitions is the fifteenth exhibition since Konsthall 16 opened, so we could say that activities have gained momentum. The general heading also defines the works in this year’s exhibition, which reflects the artists’ personal experiences and convey both movement and brief moments.

For many years, Jörgen Agardtson has explored this technique, where an underpainting in grey tones, a so-called grisaille, is covered with several thin, transparent layers. He mixes his own paint with sun-thickened linseed oil, and several of his paintings are also given a final coat of yoghurt to take the gloss off the linseed oil, leaving a nearly-invisible mist on the painting. A common trait in all his paintings is that they have a dream-like spatiality in between brightness and darkness, between sleep and waking. The work in this exhibition, The Secret Garden, takes viewers along to a magical moment in his home-built sailing canoe with an outrigger of the type used in Pacific Ocean cultures since the late-19th century, a so-called Wa'apa. On a sailing trip, the artist unexpectedly encountered a lull when a swarm of butterflies suddenly appeared around his anchored vessel. Their presence transformed the precarious situation in the middle of a wide gulf into a restful place, like a garden. The painting is part of a series that explores life choices and challenges, the concept of freedom on an individual level, and what we can learn from nature around us if we listen carefully.

The central figure in Linn Fernström’s The Boxer is a young boy with a steady gaze who holds a few fragile flowers in his clenched fists. On his head stands a grey-haired man with a moustache doing a tango step, and above them both hovers a dragonfly. Anyone familiar with Fernström’s work will recognise the slightly surrealist imagery, featuring humans and animals, but the colourful and exotic elements have receded in recent years on behalf of a more subtle palette. Her fluid paintings portray her inner and current life. The multilayered, hazy landscape full of flora and fauna contains childhood memories of expeditions in nature, while the little man dancing tango is a reference to the artist’s own love for the dance.

Claes Jurander has been working for more than fifty years with paintings, drawings, prints, animations, sculptures, illustration and text, moving deftly between media. One work can serve as the starting point for another, but they also cross fertilise. Jurander himself refers to the Japanese haiku, short, simple and concise poems that convey the core of life, as a key to his artistic approach, and has called his practice “travel notes”. Accompanying him on that voyage is a true pleasure. Ochre Icon Image featured in the exhibition is a painting from a series reflecting the artist’s own interest in sports and conveys the memory of a magical football game in the mid-1980s. After the match had started, it began to snow heavily, and the ball had to be painted red for the second half so it could be seen against the white snow. The snow eventually made it impossible to finish the match, despite heroic efforts by the almost angelic players.

In the foreground of Lars Lerin’s watercolour, the red triangle of the orienteering control stands out sharply against the snow. His Winter Orienteering captures the light of the landscape and all the gentle nuances of the snow and the white birch trunks, making the biting cold palpable. Lerin’s watercolours are rich with personal observations from the artist’s life and reflect both light and dark aspects. He works serially with motifs from his surroundings in Värmland and his travels far and near, but also from current global news reported in the media. Alongside working in his studio, he also writes books for adults and children, which reflect universal feelings with the same receptiveness as his paintings. The books, with their exquisite portrayals of nature and people in the past and now, are richly illustrated with atmospheric pictures.

Apart from paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures, Jockum Nordström has also made animations, illustrated children’s books, letting the different approaches interbreed and inspire each other. Art is a way of processing life and allowing the subconscious to have a say. Collage often plays a key part in his image-making, and his transcendental imagery introduces the viewer to a plethora of figures involved in parallel situations. Years Through Forest in the exhibition is the original for the poster Nordström designed for the 100th anniversary of the Vasaloppet Ski Race. The method is unmistakably Nordströmian, a collage in watercolour and pencil, and the colours, certain figures and the slightly naïve room perspective have borrowed influences from old vernacular Dala paintings.

Linda Ottosson creates multifaceted works that explore and comment on traditionally male domains, both aesthetically and in her choice of materials. Her sculptures are an uninhibited mix of precious and non-precious metals, skilfully hand-crafted, with industrial materials and everyday mass-produced objects, challenging conventional notions of right and wrong, traditional and contemporary. Several projects explore the sports world and its focus on winners, and our relationship to athletic bodies and social ideals. Ping Pong, forty yellow table tennis balls between two figure-sawn sheets of brushed stainless steel, is a playfully minimalist sculpture and a perfect example of the humorous clashes she generates. Here, the air-filled plastic balls meet steel, a historically and physically heavy material.

In painterly photographs with lighting that suggests Baroque chiaroscuro, especially the dramatic works of Caravaggio, Sofia Runarsdotter scrutinises the mental and physical dimensions of handball. The Girl Battle project, to which Girl with Missile Ball, Spider and The Great Hereafter belong, started in 2020 and is based on the artist’s own experiences. As a teenager in Robertsfors, she played in the Sikeå SK handball team, the same team as the young women portrayed here, in the tender years between childhood and adulthood. The subject is handball, but the portrayal is far from the usual sports coverage, with action-packed situations and several players involved. These analogue photos taken with a large-format camera are intimate portraits of one or a handful of players and reduced gestures and movements. The lighting is dramatic, and there is almost something holy about the young women’s faces.

Henrik Samuelsson works with series of paintings where each work is independent but linked by formal and thematic elements. Samuelsson himself describes the architecture of the paintings as a disguise, something that is familiar on the outside, but the actual content is abstract and relates to different levels and geometries. Unknown invites the viewer into a dreamlike, symmetrical and architectural composition which is both flat and infinitely deep. There is no trace of human presence in the bare, serene room. On the other side of a mirroring surface of water is a ledge, and a horizontal window forms the backdrop, with light that seems to flow towards us from the canvas itself.

Through conceptual drawings and paintings, which sometimes take the form of objects, videos and photographs, Sophie Tottie visualises abstract phenomena in relation to the space. The subjects or themes around which her works circle can be of a social, literary, political, philosophical or scientific nature. In general, she wants the viewer to have the time to absorb the works, which, like other experiences, are not always easy to explain, objectify or categorise. Text, signs and marks have long been important to her work process; drawings where she uses bar codes, for instance, have featured since the mid-1990s. Here, text, computer coding and a photo were a few of the starting points for Balancing Pole (Ice), a multi-layered work in several respects. A photograph of a glacier is combined with lettering that is also transformed into a bar code. Together, they form a pigmented print mounted around a steel tube. Text, image and the elongated balancing pole transmits thoughts on equilibrium in the fragile existence of humanity and nature.

This is the fifth presentation of recent acquisitions for the Tore A Jonasson collection. Nine artists express as many themes and phenomena, all relating and alluding to movement. In memory of Tore, we hope that you will find these additions to the collection interesting and inspiring.

Ulrika Levén, curator

Sidan publicerades: 30 maj 2024