10 December

Three shows that art critic Lars-Erik Hjertström Lappalainen didn’t write about, but still finds memorable.

Nina Bondeson, Billie, 2004.

Nina Bondesson, Come in, she said – my room is an eye of a storm, Gothenburg Konsthall

During the press preview, Nina Bondesson told us that she graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm just as Implosion at Moderna Museet turned the Swedish art scene postmodern and inhospitable to her “artefactual” practice, where every object, painting, and embroidered garment should “harbour meaning beyond explanatory language.” Her works are continuously fragmented. The images are distinct, but contexts blurred, like after a good bout of drinking. They often contain strange cables and threads, like a bared nervous system. Bondesson’s images are aimed at anyone, simply because they’re just as complex as anyone. They don’t relay a specific message, just life.  

Hans Isaksson, The Silence, installation view, Björkholmen Gallery.

Hans Isaksson, The Silence, Björkholmen Gallery, Stockholm

Here, Hans Isaksson’s deep familiarity with not only artistic media and techniques, but also his subject matter – Tornedalen in northern Sweden, where he grew up – fused into works that oozed sovereignty. Twelve monochromes, each representing a month, were made out of paint scraped from landscape paintings he had bought in flea markets and recycled. Meta-art, amateur painting, vernacular motifs, and abstract landscapes rolled into one. A relative’s rag rug was unpicked, and the fabrics were studied and glued together into several new smaller patterns or images that arose from the rugs. The valuable things in life take time.

Fredrik Strid, Fossil,2022.

Fredrik Strid, White Shadows, Ebelingmuseet, Torshälla

A life-size sculpture of a snowman – or perhaps a furry prehistoric man – Mr Big Bang (2022), stood on giant feet sucking his big index finger after throwing blocks at the wall and the ground. He still had one in his hand, and looked a bit like something from a comic strip. The stalagmite Fossil (2022) suggested an abandoned architectural element in the jungle. And between them, something resembling a polished block of stone that had cracked in half, revealing the unprocessed rock inside – surfaces that would have been millions of years older than the others had not this work, like the others, been newly-made out of white acrylic resin. Eons of time and questions filled this airy space on the same planet.

Lars-Erik Hjertström Lappalainen is an art critic, author, and regular contributor to Kunstkritikk.

For this year’s contributions to the Advent Calendar, see here.