Five Scandinavian Artists to Watch at CHART
On September 1st, the fifth edition of CHART Art Fair opens the stately doors of its perennial home, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts’s Kunsthal Charlottenborg, in the center of Copenhagen. The 2017 edition is the fair’s biggest yet, with 33 galleries from Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) filling its luminous booths.
This cohort of galleries will show painting, sculpture, photography, and performance by a range of primarily Scandinavian artists. The artists range from internationally recognized names to those on the rise, and we’re highlighting the up-and-comers. Below are five you won’t want to miss at the fair.
Last year, Ericson moved her painting studio from urban Stockholm to the remote area of Sweden in which she was raised: Hälsingland, a region blanketed by dense forests and bordered by the Baltic Sea. While its untamed landscape has always informed her practice, the work Ericson has made since relocating has become more intimate and more psychologically raw.
At CHART, both Stockholm’s Galleri Magnus Karlsson and Copenhagen’s V1 Gallery unveil several of Ericson’s new canvases, which are priced between €5,000 and €7,500. In one captivating piece, The Diving Bell (2017), a woman lies in a stream as water rushes over her body, tangling and rendering her clothes transparent. One is left with the impression that Ericson’s subject is melting, both physically and mentally, into the nature that surrounds her.
Ericson’s double-feature at CHART comes in the midst of several career-launching presentations for the young artist. Earlier this year, her work was the subject of a solo exhibition at Örebro Konsthall, Sweden, and in 2018, her paintings will be the subject of two solos at Swedish museums—Hälsinglands Museum and Bror Hjorths Hus—and a group exhibition at Albertz Benda gallery in New York.
Across Reivilä’s black-and-white photographs, tree trunks, boulders, and bits of snow are shown bound together with rope. The images document the Finnish photographer’s interactions with the landscape that surrounds her. To make them, Reivilä travels into the wilderness and meticulously wraps natural objects in elegant patterns of knotted rope, often connecting two previously detached forms in the process.
Reivilä’s process is inspired by humankind’s increasingly tenuous relationship with land, as well as Japanese religious ceremonies, which employ ropes and ties to represent the relationship between people and the divine, and to identify sacred space.
At CHART, Taik Persons shows 12 of Reivilä’s photographs, priced between €1,500 and €5,500. Bond #26 (2017), for instance, shows two thin, knobby tree trunks tethered together. “My lines show how shapes of the elements and the connections between them come visible when something alien is added,” she has said. “I’m not only changing their essence, but also my own point of view.” Reivilä’s work is also currently on view at “Foto View: Finland” at Landskrona Museum in Sweden and will be showcased at “Visions of Nature” at Kunst Haus Wien in Vienna, opening early September.
Mannov’s expressive canvases, which depict fragments of everyday figures and objects, have caught the attention of galleries and institutions across Scandinavia and Europe over the last several years. Between 2015 and 2017, Copenhagen’s Christian Andersen gallery and Oslo’s Standard gallery each hosted solo shows of the young, Oslo-based artist’s work, and an upcoming group show, “Plant B,” at Parc de la Fonderie sculpture park in Brussels, is slated for this September.
At CHART, Christian Andersen shows a group of new, small-scale paintings, priced between €3,500 and €4,000 and rendered in oil and lacquer on raw fabric. One canvas overflows with turquoise scribbles and yellow fields that, at closer glance, depict a cropped, sketchy image of an elephant: only the animal’s trunk and a bit of its head make it into Mannov’s frame. In two additional paintings, Mannov shows select glimpses of a body and a pastoral scene; their outlines are faint and unclear, as if poised to evaporate. There’s a fugitive quality of his compositions that Mannov has said is inspired by the impermanence and sheer volume of images that cascade across our iPhones and tablets on a daily basis.
Toivonen developed his unique process somewhat serendipitously. In 2014, while his wife was traveling, the Finnish artist lived and worked alone in the woods. One night, after falling asleep on a brass plate, he awoke to find the experience had left a trace of his body on the metal. Since then, Toivonen has used and expanded on this process to create contemporary memento mori—compositions that symbolize life’s transience and impermanence.
Galerie Forsblom, who hosted a solo exhibition of Toivonen’s work in 2016, shows a selection of the artist’s newest works at CHART. Priced between $2,000 and $20,000, the abstractions show the faded outlines of two animals against golden-hued brass plates. Toivonen uses the process of decomposition of the bodies of already-dead animals to embed these impressions into his metal substrates. While his method might sound macabre, Toivonen sees the process as an act of preservation—a homage to the energy and physicality of all life.
CHART comes in the middle of a whirlwind year for Jakobsen, whose color-saturated, angular sculptures have taken center stage in shows at Denmark’s Grenå Windmill and Gether Contemporary, and will soon be unveiled in a solo exhibition at Chicago’s Efrain Lopez Gallery, opening September 9th.
Since graduating with a BA in fine arts from Goldsmiths, University of London, in 2014, Jakobsen has explored how color and shape transform space and, simultaneously, alter human habits and movement. Her practice sometimes takes the form of performances in which dancers interact with bands of color or towering forms that she has placed in public environments. Other times, viewers become Jakobsen’s unwitting performers as they move around arrangements of her metal structures.
At the fair, Gether shows a strong sampling of Jakobsen’s works, from tall free-standing steel sculptures to smaller aluminum constructions, priced between 22,000 and 85,000 DKK (or €2,957 to €11,427). In the booth, visitors won’t miss Untitled (2017), an elegant red sculpture that towers nine feet tall and is made from two intersecting triangles that balance precariously on the tiny surface area of a single point and a skinny edge.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Taik Persons is showing two of Anna Reivilä’s photographs at CHART. The gallery is showing 12.
Alexxa Gotthardt is a contributing writer for Artsy.
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