3 April - 9 May, 2004
Lars Bohman Gallery
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Galleri Lars Bohman is proud to present Astrid Svangren’s first exhibition at the gallery featuring a new series of paintings and drawings.

“For a gallery visitor not acquainted with the works of the Berlin based Swedish artist Astrid Svangren, her paintings and drawings may very well come as nothing short of a revelation. There is something decidedly original to her works, where a carefully executed imagery creates a figurative counterpoint to the broad, almost expressionist, brushstrokes also present. It is a juxtaposition of opposites where an intimate relation to painterly tradition fuses with a thoroughly innovative project in taking the genre one step further. This strategy can be detected in her approach to the apparent two-dimensionality of painting. Her way of making her imagery take shape on transparent, reflecting or semitransparent surfaces creates an intricate system of layers where the surface nature of painting seems to be challenged. Together with the very deliberate attitude to framing – using boxes, shelves or other unorthodox methods of support – her works seem almost to break out of the confines of the wall in order to take a step out into the realm of objects.

At this show at Galleri Lars Bohman, Svangren has however taken her art a little further. In her most recent paintings on Plexiglas we see a more consciously executed amalgamation of the figurative elements. Different registers of motifs seem to glide in and out of one another creating a remarkable form of dreamscape where the beholder never can be sure where the lines of demarcation lies between desire, violence, beauty or fear. Also in Svangren’s trademark swaths of colour fields one can note a clear development. The expansive and almost licentious strokes of primary colours from her earlier paintings have given way to sheets of powdery colour surfaces, shimmering like mother-of-pearl, and allowing for the presence of finely tuned shades. In her drawings we see clearly how Svangren succeeds in resolving the ever present dynamic tension that exists in her pieces between straight ‘ligne Claire’ drawing and refractory colour elements, through ‘extra-painterly’ methods – and in this case by use of the support. The boxes, reminding of the glass-covered cases used by butterfly collectors to mount their prey, allows for the drawings to take on a material presence in the room. The 8-mm thick sheet of glass covering her pieces gives them a strange kind of depth, and allows them to respond in an unexpected manner to changes in the surrounding light and other circumstances. These are simply not drawings that appeal to the viewers by being mute and passive, but rather by coming to life, and addressing them on a common ground – as an equal to an equal.”

Born in 1972 in Gothenburg, Sweden, Astrid Svangren lives and works in Berlin. She attended the Royal Danish Art Academy in Malmö 1995-98. She has exhibited at , among others: Arnstedt & Kullgren, Östra Karup, Sweden; Ystad Konstmusuem, Ystad, Swe3dem, Dunkers Kulturhus, Helsingborg, Sweden and Wanås, Swden.