Johan Nobell's scenic landscapes convey humorously ominous moods of dread and imminent threat. Scale, figuration and abstraction collide, producing bizarre, surrealist imagery that's simultaneously playful and portentous in Nobell's pastel palette. With absurdity ever-present, the compositions are thoroughly detailed, contoured and consistently narrative, wryly alluding to problems that arise in our everyday lives and our existential struggle.
The exhibition There is nothing below consists of new work illustrating scenes and environments that have reached caustic and abysmal ends, rendered with tongue-in-cheek cynicism. Strange formations populate the canvases as monsters grow, evolve, and transform to conquer surrounding landscapes. The order of nature is broken and new behaviors evolve out of necessity. Here, the most beautiful plants, living in void landscapes lacking nutritive minerals, transform into carnivorous insects on the prowl for sustenance. The resulting dystopia inspires both a sense of pathos and renewed hope, challenging the viewer to consider themes of mortality, resilience, and reinvention.
Johan Nobell, born 1963 in Gotland, lives and works in Stockholm. Nobell is educated at the Academy of Valand in Gothenburg. Previously, he has shown work at Andréhn-Schiptjenko in Stockholm, Sweden; Museum Dhondt Dhaenens, Deurle (Gent), Belgium; PLUS-ONE Gallery BERCHEM, Belgium; Pierogi Gallery in Brooklyn USA; Stephane Simoens Contemporary Fine Art in Knokke, Belgium; Bendixen Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark and Galleri Arnstedt, Östra Karup.
There is nothing below is Johan Nobell's second solo show at ANNAELLEGALLERY.