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David Franchi – Monday, 30th May 2016.
“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Swedish artist Joakim Allgulander has been a short but interesting exhibition, a collaboration between Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects, both from London.
Situated into the genre of Landscape painting, “Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” is a project focused on the abstraction by using colour, shape and texture.
This project is inspired by the works of historic Swedish landscape painters such as Helmer Osslund or Inge Schiöler. However, Allgulander explores existential and urban life, and the mundane side more deeply.
Allgulander believes this project could never exist if he was not based in London. During the last years, he experienced a comeback of memories from his childhood in rural Sweden, which was full of snow and forests. Apparently, for him in a mysterious way the urban environment recalled the rural childhood.
All pieces of this exhibition are coming from old photographs of the artist’s childhood. This new body of work is made of semi- abstract studies of snowy elegant trees extracted from photos and from Allgulander memory. The paintings catch a particular, a fragment of a whole image. An entire tree is not depicted, while the detail is a symbol of childhood memories, but also an innate, but at the same time identifiable, abstraction in itself.
The paintings are built up using the layers method. This technique symbolizes time for Allgulander. He starts up his works from the computer in black and white or monochrome and then proceeds to put layer by layer of colours on the canvas, similarly on how you make a print. Every layer should shine through.
Allgulander presents colours which are not connected immediately to the nature. Works make use of the hue of one colour and of its different variation and high and low saturations.
The artist’s aim is to catch lights, as he does in other work and installations, and by using other media. Allgulander struggles to create an object, a piece almost like a sculpture, but by using paint on a flat surface. The abstraction comes with the colour and the texture of the paint. When the work begins to look like a sculpture, or an object, he can feel truly satisfied with what he has created.
Joakim Allgulander’s practice is broad, in both subject and media, however the existential lyricism and poetic content is a constant element in his work. Born in Stockholm in 1965, he studied at Uppsala University and the National College of the Arts and Crafts in Stockholm. Regarded as one of Sweden’s most successful multidisciplinary contemporary artists his work can be found in public collections including the Swedish Arts Council, the Municipality of Gotland and the Stockholm World Trade Centre.
“Dra Åt Skogen – The Rural Abstractions” by Swedish Joakim Allgulander was organized by Orion Contemporary and Fiumano Projects, London, and it was at the gallery from 10th May until 15th May 2016.