Johan Thunell

 

Johan Thunell
Lives and work in south of Sweden. Born 1946
I established my studio in the early seventies after my training at the Croydon College of Art,
London. In the early days, inspired of what I saw of work from Japan and England. I mainly
made domestic ware in stoneware and porcelain. In later years the emphasis has shifted
towards
sculptural work; renderings of beast and man in stoneware and raku. Quite recently my
interest has come to focus on human physiognomy.
I´ve exhibited at museums and galleries in Scandinavia, the UK, Spain and the US.
Recently I´ve been a frequent exhibitor at international art fairs In Europe, the US and Asia.

 

 

Tommy TC Carlsson

Tommy TC Carlsson

Born 1958 and lives in Långasjö, Småland, and Stockholm. 1977 basic artistic education, at the art school of Öland. Ever since the early 1970s, he was given the nickname “TC” and uses it to sign his works. Tommy started to paint and quickly gained a special expressive Power. On the initiative of his teachers, he was given a scholarship for his further artistic education. During his education, he developed a passion for representational art. The Dutch paintings of the 17th Century, as well as Lifes, were especially interesting for him. This established form of representational art with its traditional artists became a challenge for Tommy and at the same time was the entrance into his own oeuvre.

Tommy chose his motifs from his personal Environment. Often these were items with notable traces of the course of time, which stands in a special perspective for the Viewer through a clever composition of the painting.

Over many years of his first creative period a certain guideline phrased by Tommy >TC< Carlsson himself, shaped his style of painting: “My still Lifes are composed of old objects, which have been affected by the tooth of time for many years. With atmosphere and mysteriousness, I am trying to sell you a story. A symbolic painting, free to interpret.”

Works with precise, plane backgrounds emerged, mostly with wooden panels. Subsequently Tommy, in a large number of his work, placed the objects in the foreground and chose free background designs – whilst not using a Concrete room situation. The specialty of these works is that the room is only indicated through shadow and light, shine and feebleness on the items themselves or in the direct background of the objects. In this way, Tommy created a relationship of tension within his works which inspired many of the lovers of this art.

Stimulated by educational journeys and the participation at various art fairs Tommy increasingly changed the objects in his works and temporarily accentuated the symbolism as well as individual parts of objects. the continuous advancement of his style of painting ultimately led to a complete focusing on the object.

For a number of years, the main focus of Tommy >TC< Carlsson has been a style of painting orientated towards trompe lóeil. By playing with the deception of cognition, he found new ways of attracting the gaze of his viewers.

Tommy designs this game with a special humor. Behind the directly ascertainable, quasi-tangible, figurative reality of his objects, manifold hints and allusions become visible. They enable a contact between the artist and the viewer, an optic interaction. In this way, the works of Tommy >TC< Carlsson show a colorful reality, which connects the past, the present and a future-oriented fantasy which makes curious.

Ellen Lippe

Larissa Stenlander

Larissa Stenlander

Watercolors by Larissa Stenlander are charming and quirky works that reflect everyday human emotions. Loneliness and craving for love, social vulnerability and joy of belonging, independence and discrete cries for help – the situations and states that Stenlander’s characters find themselves in create instant recognition and emotional resonance in the viewer.

The stylized world of Stenlander’s art is quintessentially female and revolves around the artist’s alter ego: a sympathetic and a little plump middle-aged woman who is thinking about herself and life in general. Sometimes the woman is alone, sometimes she interacts with her friends, or, rather, with her own doubles. The scenes usually are humoristic, although there is an aura of melancholy over most of Stenlander’s art. The melancholy seems to be rooted in the sad premise that life is a constant struggle with the self and the world.
The emotional content of Stenlander’s drawings is enhanced by the pure, finely chiseled and minimalist imagery

Stenlander uses symbolism in the same way as the 1600s Dutch masters did in their Vanitas. Every single detail carries a certain meaning; books, bottles, ladders – all the details present in the works are necessary and are placed there for a reason.

Humorous and melancholic at the same time, Stenlander’s stripped mis-en-scenes account for an independent vision and for the artist’s very own development of a traditional genre painting.

Natalia Goldin Lundh

Karl Valve

  • Karl Valve, "Calm life", mixed media on linen, 100x100cm

 

KARL VALVE 

Karl Valve spent his early years in Tullinge just south of Stockholm where he grew up at the same time as graffiti culture was starting to emerge and develop. Without being a graffiti artist himself, he nevertheless filled his notepads – ‘black books’ – with drafts of bold letter combinations, sometimes spiced up with figurative elements. The turning point came when he moved to Malmö and discovered P-huset Anna, a multi-storey car park with so-called ‘legal walls’. This was a favourite haunt of young graffiti artists, since it gave them the chance to paint and develop their creativity without the risk of being nabbed by the police. Their spray cans were bought in Copenhagen, which also had a broad selection of graffiti magazines.

These early experiments with graffiti were the precursor to Valve developing a deeper interest in art and especially in its technicians, since for him it wasn’t just about applying paint to a canvas (or other medium) in a figurative or non-figurative manner. In replacing spray cans with putty knives and adding layer upon layer of paint – nowadays up to ten of them – he gave his surfaces a poetic depth which invited interpretation and clarification. Important sources of inspiration for the development of his work with putty knives were such artists as Gerhard Richter (Bach Suite, 1992) and Ola Billgren, who in the same decade created his gleaming red “echoes of Pompeii”. The artist who was to have the greatest effect upon him, however, was the American Robert Rauschenberg. In the 1950s, as part of his development of late 1910s Dadaism, he introduced combines and assemblages as artistic media. The most famous example of the latter is undoubtedly his Monogram of 1959, a goat with a car tyre around its belly, but it was primarily Rauschenberg’s combines which from an early stage came to fascinate Valve. For Rauschenberg, these often work in the same way as contemporary documents or diary entries. Photographs, newspaper clippings, letters of the alphabet, and streaks of colour are combined into collages rich with association. In Valve’s current exhibition which he, with a dash of nostalgia, calls Life on the Seashore, this relationship with Rauschenberg is as evident as the differences are striking. Valve too works with combinations of colour, photographs, figurative painting and letters, but whereas Rauschenberg is extrovert in his work, Valve is introspective, otherworldly and lyrical. A streak of contemplative poetry runs through the current exhibition, not least in its bird motifs.

Without having any real idea of how the finished work will look, Valve begins by applying layer upon layer of acrylic paint to the canvas. Shifts between thin glaze and more impasto textures create a relief-like effect in the paint, the nuances of which determine the content of the rest of the painting. In Fågelmålningarna (the Bird Paintings), Valve’s palette seems to have carried his thoughts to the beach where the sea ebbs away, where the shifting light of the heavens is reflected from dawn to dusk in sand that remains ever moist and where the sun appears as a shining globe. His paintings are thus transformed from abstract lyricism into summer beaches, into a setting for birdlife but also for bathing, boats and beach cabins: a setting with horizons both deep and implicit.

The whole exhibition is characterised by a quiet beauty closely allied to nature. Should we then refer to Valve as a nature poet? ‘No,’ he says, he is a child of the city, while acknowledging a strong attraction to Taoism, the Chinese philosophy which in nature and through inward contemplation and meditation seeks to find ‘the Way’ to inner harmony and an understanding of life. One of Valve’s favourite books is Benjamin Hoff’s Tao of Pooh, an unsurpassed source of wisdom in which Valve finds a soulmate in the form of Pooh Bear’s friend Piglet. Taking Piglet by the hand is in fact an excellent way to find the right path into Karl Valve’s multi-layered and deeply poetic world.

Britte Montigny

Henrik Johansson

 

Ewa-Mari Johansson

 

Ewa-Mari Johansson studied documentary film making at The New School for Social Research in New York in the seventies, Arnold Eagle (he collaborated with Man Ray) became her mentor.  She continued to study art photography at UCLA.

When she started working as a fashion photographer in New York she was helped by Patrick Demarchelier, who let her use his studio, allowing her to create her own portfolio. Believing in the potential of Ewa-Mari.  Xavier Moreau (at this time Helmut Newton’s agent) suggested her to start her career in Milano. The move turned out to be successful with a first editorial work for Vogue Bellezza in 1983.

She has since then published numerous editorials in fashion and photo journals, she has shoot international advertising campaigns, participated in and had solo photo exhibits at museums and galleries, the first one in 1992 at Il Diaframma in Milano. She is an established photographer with broad experience, for five years during 2009 to 2013 she taught photography at Berghs School of Communication, Stockholm. Today she lives and works between Stockholm and Milano.

 

 

Piece of art by Mattias Sammekull

Mattias Sammekull

 

Matttias Sammekull (born 1972, Stockholm) – is  one of Sweden’s most intriguing contemporary figurative painters. His technical splendor is obvious, a craftsmanship gained from many years of thorough studies of the old masters.
His visual language is clearly influenced by Italian and north European renaissance painters as well as 20th century surrealism and contemporary popculture.

Sammekull’s  realm of motifs always centre around the figure, alone or in a group. His work is distinguished by an intense study and deep examination of the human psyche and our universal and fundamental emotions.
Tranquility, the sense of a frozen moment in time, is an ever present ingredient in his body of work, as is an electrical charge leaving few unaffected.
His figures emerges from both the subconscious and his imagination, yet still they have roots in the artist’s  memories, emotions and dreams.

The others, as Sammekull calls his distorted figures, are recognized by their weak shoulders and big clumsy hands. They exist in an alternative reality,  a secret and inaccessible world not that different from ours. But still they manage, with their intense gazes and seductive presence, to bridge the distance between the painter’s inner hidden world and the spectator.

 

 

Den isolerade ön, konstverk av Åke Andersson

Åke Andersson

  • Åke Andersson, "Mainstream"