Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition in Stockholm with Johan Thurfjell.
Thurfjell continues to source personal and sometimes private experiences in order to create works that resonate on a universal level. He avoids sentimentality despite the often poetic and personal characteristics of his material.
In his exhibition Conclusion, Thurfjell presents two sculptures and a series of watercolours that communicate a sense of loss, nostalgia and possibly tragedy. Through a process of miniaturizing “big” and sometimes traumatic subjects Thurfjell renders them manageable both to himself and his audience.
Collapse is an imposing sculpture depicting a multi-tower turn-of-the-century iron bridge in a state of destruction. The failing structure is fictional but inspired by a bridge collapse in Minneapolis in 2005. The physical, visible catastrophe of the bridge becomes a cathartic embodiment of a psychological state.
A steel sculpture of an old American billboard, scaled down to human height, is presented in the work Conclusion. The surfaces of the signs show a patina suggesting years of use, weather and finally, neglect. The remaining traces point to an earlier epoch and evoke a tainted nostalgia. The communicative power of the billboard has defaulted instead into an archeology.
The sense of loss and personal history in the exhibition crystallizes in Ghosts, a series of faint geometric watercolors in old frames. The paintings function as simple monochrome abstractions but allude to removed old photographic portraits. The faded traces of the missing photographs invoke those once depicted and now absent.
Johan Thurfjell was born in 1970 in Solna. He currently lives and works in Stockholm. His most recent solo exhibition at Galerie Nordenhake was titled “Dead Calm,” and held in 2008. Other solo exhibitions include “Jim’s Room,” Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall (2007), Färgfabriken in Stockholm (2004) and Index in Stockholm (2001). His group exhibitions include the Lewis Glucksman Gallery in Cork (2007), Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm (2007), 21c Museum in Louisville (2006), Moderna Museet in Stockholm (2006), Signal Malmö (2005), the Nordic Festival of Contemporary Art Momentum in Moss, Norway (2004), Norrköpings Konstmuseum (2003) and Dunkers Kulturhus in Helsingborg. In June 2008 he was honored with an award from the Marianne and Sigvard Bernadottes Artist Fund.