Thomas Wågström Photo

17 November – 18 December 2016

 

Thomas Wågström – In Heaven on Earth

In 2013, photographer Thomas Wågström, based in Stockholm, visited Fabriken Bästekille where he exhibited a selection of his photos and multi-award winning photo-books.

Now he has returned to Scania and Galleri Final with the exhibition “In Heaven on Earth”. A universal dimension but also a summary of the photo-book trilogy “All that is in Heaven” (2012), “Necks” (2014) and “On Earth” (2015). Photos that stop me in my tracks, enticing me to enter them, or rather to enter the trilogy’s different motifs.

Consequently, I do as Thomas Wågström does and look up at the sky. Some clouds are hunting each other. They seem to be having fun. For a couple of seconds my eyes follow them, but soon they have forever disappeared from my horizon, my memory and my life. In the photos by Thomas Wågström, I retrieve my memories of the clouds, of the stories they told, the images they created.

Once again, I do as Thomas Wågström does and I see a neck in front of me. There is nothing beautiful to see. It is aged. Pale. Wrinkled with coarse pores and stray hairs. Anonymous. Uninteresting. But seen through the lens of Thomas Wågströms camera, the necks lose their anonymity. Suddenly they become interesting. Living and almost beautiful. Worth exploring.

I live in a house built steadfast to the ground. When I get the chance to look at the world as birds do, I’m happy to take it. I do as Thomas Wågström does and allow myself a moment of fascination when I notice the proportional displacements caused by the birds perspective (imagine looking up at the

paintings on a ceiling of a 16th century Roman church, but the other way around). But the

moment is short, the distractions too many and soon my eyes are looking in other directions. And as a matter of fact, there is – as far as I can see – nothing special to see. Thomas Wågströms photos tell the contrary.

The “every day” view, the one that notices the abovementioned clouds, necks and proportional displacements, is less about seeing and more about understanding. Continuous realisations that intuitively provide orientation in daily life. It takes more for those negligible motifs and perspective anomalies to get stuck on the retina, as if they were engraved on a copper plate. Something more.

It is this “something more” that Thomas Wågström has the ability to bring out in his exhibitions and photo books. Eight so far. The first, “The Inner Side of Earnest” was edited in 1994. It depicted a group of young men during their rigorous training for the Swedish Coastal Rangers. The camera froze the movements, choked the sound. Only silence remained and a nakedness accentuated, not only by the imagery, reduced to a minimum, but also by the absence of colours. In the black and white pictures, there is nothing that softens, nothing that distracts. Nothing but the rare and compelling beauty of the different shades of grey. The beauty in what is small, in what is almost ugly, in the trivial every day. A suggestive force urges the eyes to see what Thomas Wågström sees through a camera lens as sensitive as a seismograph.

“The Inner Side of Earnest” might be the first of Thomas Wågströms photo books but it is a mature piece of art, created by an artist who had already found his calling. A road that winds away through an unexplored world in black and white. During the years, the nature of this world has changed from the Coastal Ranger’s laborious existence to a shabby boxer that retreats to abandoned cellars, to his grandfather’s workshop on an isolated island in the archipelago of Stockholm and further to clouds, necks and the view from his own balcony on the 13th floor of an apartment building in Stockholm. Thomas Wågströms photos allow me to travel through these worlds. And they teach me how to stop. How to see. How to look upwards. Downwards. All around. A lesson to absorb and to take with you.

 Britte Montigny

 

Thomas Wågström  – In Heaven on Earth

Sommaren 2013 visade stockholmsbaserade fotografen Thomas Wågström ett urval av sina fotografier och flerfaldigt prisbelönade fotoböcker i Fabriken Bästekille på Österlen.

Nu har han vänt åter till Skåne och Galleri Final med utställningen ”In Heaven on Earth”. I himlen på jorden. I himlen så ock på jorden. En alltomfattande dimension men också en sammanfattning av fotoboktrilogin ”Allt som är i himlen” (2012), ”Nackar” (2014) och ”På Jorden” (2015). Fotografierna får mig att stanna upp och tvingar mig bildligt talat att gå in i dem, eller snarare, in i trilogins motivkretsar.

Jag gör som Thomas Wågström och tittar upp mot himlen. Där leker några molntappar tafatt. De ser ut att ha rätt kul. Jag följer dem med blicken några sekunder, men sedan är de för alltid försvunna ur min horisont, mitt minne och mitt liv. Och även jag har legat på rygg på en sommaräng och läst in en hel zoologiskt trädgård i sommarmolnen. Kvar i minnet finns inte molnens formationer, bara doften av ängens gulmåra och känslan av välbefinnande. I Thomas Wågströms foton återfinner jag mina molnminnen.

Jag gör som Thomas Wågström och ser en nacke framför mig. Jag kan inte se något vackert i den. Den är halvgammal, höstblek. Veckig med grova porer och några förlupna hårstrån. Anonym. Ointressant. Men sedda genom Thomas Wågströms kameralins förlorar nackarna sin anonymitet. Blir plötsligt intressanta. Levande och nästan vackra. Värda att utforska.

Jag bor i ett hus med ständig markkontakt. När jag någon gång får chansen att se på världen med fåglars blick tar jag den gärna. Gör som Thomas Wågström och låter mig för ett ögonblick fascineras av fågelperspektivets proportionsförskjutningar (ungefär som när man tittar upp på  takmålningarna i en romersk 1600-talskyrka, fast tvärtom). Men ögonblicket är kort, distraktionerna många

och ögonen söker sig snart åt annat håll. Det finns ju- såvitt jag kan se – egentligen inget speciellt att se. Thomas Wågströms foton berättar om motsatsen.

Det vardagligliga seendet, det som registrerar till exempel ovannämnda moln, nackar och fågel-perspektivets förskjutningar, handlar egentligen mindre om att se och mer om att registrera. Fortlöpande registreringar som sker automatiskt som en slags orienteringshjälp i tillvaron. Det krävs något mer för att dessa i sig försumbara motiv och perspektiviska anomalier ska fastna på näthinnan, etsa sig fast som vore de graverade på en kopparplåt. Något mer.

Det är detta ”något mer” som Thomas Wågström har förmågan att förmedla med sina utställningar och fotoböcker. Åtta har de blivit genom åren. Den första, ”På insidan av allvaret”, kom ut 1994 och skildrade ett gäng unga grabbar under den tuffa utbildningen till kustjägare. Kameran frös rörelserna, kvävde ljudet. Kvar fanns bara tystnad och en hudlös nakenhet som accentuerades inte bara av bildspråket som reducerats till ett minimum utan också av frånvaron av färger. I de svartvita bilderna finns inget som mildrar, inget som distraherar. Inget utom en sällsam, betvingande skönhet förmedlad av gråskalans schatteringar. Skönheten i det lilla, i det nästan fula, i det banalt alldagliga. En suggererande kraft som tvingar ögonen att se det som Thomas Wågström ser genom ett kameraobjektiv lika känsligt som en seismograf.

”På insidan av allvaret” må ha varit Thomas Wågströms första fotobok men den var ett fullgånget konstverk skapat av en konstnär som redan funnit sin väg. En väg som vindlade sig genom en outforskad värld i svart och vitt. Under åren har den skiftat karaktär från kustjägarnas slitsamma vardag till sunkiga boxarmiljöer i övergivna källarlokaler, till farfaderns snickarbod på en isolerad ö i Stockholms skärgård och vidare till moln, nackar och utsikten från den egna balkongen på trettonde våningen i ett hus någonstans i Stockholm. Thomas Wågströms fotografier gör mig till medresenär på resan genom dessa världar. Men de lär mig också att stanna upp och se. Uppåt. Nedåt. Runtomkring. En lärdom att ta till sig, att ta med sig.

Britte Montigny

Johan Petterson

20 October – 13 November 2016

 

JOHAN PETTERSON

After five years, Johan Petterson is now back at Galleri Final with a series of New Paintings. On the one hand, they focus on flowers, and on the other, they focus on birds and frogs. This is a new and different world in Johan Petterson’s universe, where human beings, who are often part of his artistic properties, are not welcome. The flowers greet us in their still life composition of artistically moulded garden urns, filled with airy bouquets. At times they conjure up images of flaming roses, but most often they seem to be gathered from an imaginary flora. Linnaeus would have been amazed, but on the other hand – and as Johan Petterson has also asked himself – what do flowers care about their names in Latin? In floral bouquets, everything is a dance between colors and forms (underlined by the balanced encounters between acrylic and oil) as well as variations in textures and shades where names and even species are indifferent.

In these paintings, created as variations on the Flora theme, the brush strokes are rapid, the shapes are implied rather than clearly stated and the colors are carried out by a luminous intensity when they stand out against the backdrops, neutrally maintained in black or gray. In the larger flower paintings, little birds can be found, most often tree sparrows, making their way into the picture, creating a link to the exhibitions’ other dominant motifs: birds from the Nordic fauna. As seen in the Flora paintings, Johan Petterson quite deliberately builds a bridge to 16th century Netherlands, the classical period of big floral compositions. To connect tradition to his art is a typical way for Johan Petterson to work. Not because he believes that “it was better before”, but because tradition is highly useful in looking forward to the future. In true post-modernism spirit, he does not attempt to build walls between “now” and “then”. On the contrary, he wants to preserve, renew and create ways into the future. And that does not only concern his updated floral still lifes, where he seems to capture the fleeting moment in flight. This applies equally to both the landscape and animal paintings, as well as those genres that stem from 16th century Dutch art.

But in Johan Petterson’s studio in Stockholm, landscapes as well as groves of trees and shrubberies sometimes transform into ornamental “no-mans lands” where magpies rest and blackbirds sing on silent summer nights and where small birds play hide-and-seek among the twigs and the majestic necks of white swans materialize out of the black water of a forest lake. When drawn out of their natural environments, we are forced to look at them with new eyes, to experience them as guests in a world that is becoming more and more urban. An owl, who could have been taken from a work of Hieronymus Bosch, sits on a closed gate, a border between two worlds that Johan Petterson leaves to us to define. And the owl, in turn, looks at us with eyes that no longer can be surprised or amazed. In Johan Petterson’s art, the owl acts as a messenger between different realities. A surrealistic trace that is even more accentuated in the painting entitled Mitt i Malmö (In the Middle of Malmö). A title that confuses since there is no connection to Malmö in the painting at all. It depicts a frog – a Scania tree frog, but it can also be a bewitched prince or a princess awaiting that liberating kiss. In Mitt i Malmö , the frog sits on an opalescent circular disk, an oversized dewdrop in the ornamental no-mans land – or is it on a full moon in a distant galaxy? Like the owl, the frog raises many questions, but once again Johan Petterson leaves it to us to find the answers.

Britte Montigny

Malmö Gallerinatt

24 september kl. 18.00-24.00

 

Malmö Gallerinatt lördagen 24 september kl. 18.00-24.00

Performance av konstnären och musikern Damali Young under hela kvällen.
My concept this evening is “Echoes from another world.”
I grew up in NYC a midst a music and art explosion.
In my style as an Artist and musician this perhaps can be felt.
My sound and style that is steeped in visual aesthetic fuses pop with the avant-garde
when this balance is met, then there is something harmonic happening, something that is very Damali.

Damali Young var Galleri Finals debutant 2016.

Ralph Nykvist Karnevalen i Venedig 1987

Ralph Nykvist The karneval in Venice 1987

POP UP Galleri 31
Retrospectiv Photo exhibition with Ralph Nykvist

Autumn Collection # 1

22 September – 16 October 2016

 

Groupexhibition with Jean Pierre Amar, Daan Oude Elferink, Camilla Eriksson, Allan Friis, Elna Jolom, May Lindholm, Ralph Nykvist, Gunnar Smolianky, Christer Strömholm, Johan Thunell, Lars Tunebo, Damali Young och Karl Valve

DAMALI – The debutant of the year

14 May – 5 June 2016

 

Damali Rashawn Young
Born 1972 in Brooklyn, NYC
Lives and works in Malmö

Education
Studies in history of Art at Brooklyn Museum
1987-91 Art and Design High school

Exhibitions
This year’s debutante at Galleri Final

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Echoes from other worlds
Damali Young, this year’s debutante at Galleri Final, grew up in Brooklyn, NYC, in the 1980s.

The red-hot 1980s, when the young art created a before or since experienced boom.

Warhol sowed the seed when he legalized the mass produced litographies. The lito-art became “in”; became an item of speculations of the same caliber as the tulip bulbs in the 16th century. Artists liked the idea. A growing number of gallery owners rode the wave. Soon they dictated the conditions for “their” artists and made themselves rich – generally at the expense of the artists, who found them-selves reduced to productive tools. Concepts as “artistic freedom” were transformed into myths.

The reaction was not long in coming. In the wake of the graffiti wave of the 1970s a neo-expressive, rebellious and naivistic street art was growing. Young revolting artists as Keith Haring (1958-1990) and the Afro-American Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) joined in, turned their backs to the galleries and made the street their home. Rappers blared their messages, the hiphop culture blossomed and reached its “golden age”.

It is here Damali Young – wide open to everything that moved on NYs avant-garde art scene – has his roots. And he was torn between visual arts and music. Studies in the technics of art at the school for Art & Design alternated with studies in drum and guitar playing.

To begin with, the music draw the longest straw. Bringing his drums and guitar he came to Europe, to Norway, in the beginning of the 1990s. Got to know Odd Nerdrum (whom he some years later would guide at the museums of New York), before he continued to Paris, London, Berlin eventually to land in Malmö.

The music brought Damali Young to Europe, but art – the need of express himself in images – did not leave him in peace. Through his father, painting artist and photographer, he had art in his blood. Cheered on by his aunt who was interested in art and had noticed his talent, he made drawings, visited museums, created pictures. Made collage where fragments of arts from museums and close up portraits of “femmes fatales” from the previous century mixes with butterflies och nebulae exploding of colors, texts and chemical formulas.

The nebulae lead away from earth, to other worlds, other planets. It is here Damali Youngs robots enter the scene. Robots at one time frightening and friendly painted on old refrigerator doors. Robots are “hot”. On one of his paintings Damali notes: “25% of young people would be ok with dating a Robot. Would your Robot cheat you? Would there be Robot romantic comedies starring Jennifer Aniston? Will your Robot partner protect you in the inevitable Robot uprising?” The answer is given. You can trust your robot. It is programmed to be your friend, your pal, your company, your helper. And it was so it started. Around the age of 12, Damali got a vintage robot – an icon from the 50s- as a gift. A she-robot who only needed two batteries to get moving. In a fit of nostalgia Damali brought her with him when a couples of decades later he moved from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The roof lamp in the combined kitchen, drawing room and bed room worked with a string that ought to be drawn down if it should work. It became the robot’s job to keep the string down. It became a part of the interior, a useful Boris, Camille, Bella, Ken, John… Imaginary guests from Mars. Personalities brought to life on old refrigerator doors.

Britte Montigny

 


Damali Rashawn Young
Född 1972 i Brooklyn, New York City
Bor och arbetar i Malmö

Utbildning
Konststudier på Brooklyn museum
1987-91 Art and Design High school

Utställningar
Årets debutant på Galleri Final

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Ekon från andra världar
Damali Young, årets debutant på Galleri Final, växte upp i Brooklyn, NYC, på 1980-talet.

Det glödheta 1980-talet, då ung konst skapade en varken tidigare eller senare skådad boom.

Warhol sådde fröet när han legaliserade de massproducerade litografierna. Lito-konst blev ”inne”; spekulationsobjekt av samma kaliber som 1600-talets tulpanlökar. Konstnärer nappade på idén. En växande flora av gallerister red på vågen. Snart dikterade de villkoren för ”sina” konstnärer och gjorde sig förmögenheter – oftast på bekostnad av konstnärerna som reducerades till produktiva verktyg. Begrepp som ”konstnärlig frihet” förvandlades till myter.

Reaktionen lät inte vänta på sig. I kölvattnet av 1970-talets graffitivåg var en neoexpressiv, upprorisk och naivistisk gatukonst i antågande. Unga rebelliska konstnärer som Keith Haring (1958-1990) och afroamerikanen Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) hoppade på, vände gallerierna ryggen, gjorde gatan till sin. Rapparna smattrade fram sina budskap, hiphop-kulturen blomstrade och nådde sin ”golden age”.

Det är här Damali Young – vidöppen för allt som rörde sig på NY:s avantgardistiska konstscenen – har sina rötter. Och han slets mellan bildkonst och musik. Studier i konstnärliga tekniker vid skolan för Art & Design varvades med studier i trum- och gitarrspel.

Till att börja med drog musiken längsta strået.
Med trumma och gitarr kom han i början av 1990-talet till Europa, till Norge. Lärde känna Odd Nerdrum (som han några år senare skulle guida på NY:s muséer), innan han drog vidare till Paris, London, Berlin för att så småningom landa i Malmö.

Musiken förde Damali Young till Europa, men konsten – behovet av att uttrycka sig i bild – lämnade honom inte i fred. Genom sin far, bildkonstnär och fotograf, hade han konsten i blodet. Påhejad av sin konstintresserade faster som såg hans talang, ritade han, besökte muséer, skapade bilder. Gjorde collage där fragment av museikonst och närporträtt av ”femme fatales” från förra sekelskiftet blandas med fjärilar och färgexplosiva nebulosor, texter och kemiska formler.

Nebulosorna leder bort från jorden, till andra världar, andra planeter. Det är här Damali Youngs robotar kommer in i bilden. På en gång skrämmande och vänliga robotar målade på gamla kylskåpsdörrar. Robotar är inne. På en av sina målningar konstaterar Damali: ”25% of young people would be ok with dating a Robot. Would your Robot cheat you? Would there be Robot romantic comedies starring Jennifer Aniston? Will your Robot partner protect you in the inevitable Robot uprising?” Svaret är givet. Du kan lita på din robot. Den är programmerad för att vara din vän, din kompis, ditt sällskap, din hjälpbreda. Det var också så det började. I 12-årsåldern fick Damali en vintagerobot- en ikon från 1950-talet – i present. En hon-robot som bara krävde två batterier för att fungera. I ett anfall av nostalgi fick roboten följa med när Damali ett par decennier senare flyttade från Brooklyn till Manhattan. Taklampan i det kombinerade köket, vardagsrummet, sovrummet reglerades med ett snöre som måste vara neddraget för att lampan skulle lysa. Det blev robotens jobb att hänga i snöret. Den blev en del av inredningen, en ”hyresgäst” som gjorde nytta. Hon-roboten blev en person, fick ett namn, drog till sig likasinnade: Bruce, James, Boris, Camille, Bella, Ken, John… Imaginära gäster från Mars. Personligheter som väcks till liv på gamla kylskåpsdörrar.

Britte Montigny