Jacob Dahlgren wears striped t-shirts and makes paintings and video pieces based on them. He eats tinned food, and makes sculptures of delicious colours from the cans. He can make a piece of sculpture from Ikea clothes hangers or a relief from disposable plastic cups. Saws, pencils and carpenter’s rules turn into art in his thoughts and hands.
With each of his intelligent, amusing and visually fascinating works, Dahlgren proves to us that everyday life contains the potential for art. He processes the everyday experience, reminding us that it is worthwhile to look around you. In a sense, he still bears the tradition of constructivism, renewing and refreshing it and bringing it to the present day.
Dahlgren displays “abstract” works of various kinds in “Fourth Dimension/Third Uncle”.
He has attached coloured electric cables on black, waxed MDF or Corian sheeting to form abstract patterns of curving lines. The cables are attached to a monitor showing a video compiled by Dahlgren according to his principle of collecting or to lamps lighting the paintings. On the one hand these works are completely cool and modern abstract pattern paintings, while on the other hand they create a vortexed installation with their twisting cables. They are pure art while at the same time their parts that create form are functional, crossing the boundary of pure art. In his other works, Dahlgren combines with a monochrome base sharp-edged Mondrianesque designs that he has cut out of the Frieze magazines that he has received over the years. These paintings are of classic form, and even familiar, and yet they have a relationship with everyday life in the manner of an authentic work by Dahlgren. They do not shut themselves off into the hermetic world of art but are instead open to our everyday experiences.
Dahlgren has also made Mondrian step into the space by making a piece of sculpture in which Mondrian’s familiar two-dimensional grids have grown inwards and outwards.
In this way, Dahlgren is engaged in several simultaneous dialogues: form – function, sublime – everyday, flat/painting –three-dimensional/installation/sculpture. He is endlessly inventive, surprising, amusing and producing real aesthetic-intellectual experiences.