23.11.10- Nordenhake – Håkan Rehnberg

Vid en ek och en klippa – Nov10-Dec16 – Open Tues-Fri 11 am – 6 pm, Sat 12 pm – 4 pm – Hudiksvallsgatan 8

ABOUT the artist

Håkan Rehnberg was born in 1953 in Gothenburg, and he currently resides and works in Stockholm. He has exhibited in many significant institutions both internationally and in Sweden, including solo exhibitions at Nässjö Konsthall (2019), Moderna Museet Stockholm (2015), Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm/Berlin/Mexico City (2010, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2017, 2020, 2022), Malmö Konstmuseum (2007), Studio A, Otterndorf (2006), Vida Konsthall, Halltorp (2005), and Sønderjyllands Kunstmuseum, Tønder, Denmark (2004), Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm (2002).

In 2010, he represented Sweden at the Sydney Biennale and has also participated in numerous group exhibitions at institutions such as Konstakademien, Stockholm (2022), Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (2009), National Art Museum of China, NAMOC, Beijing (2008), Moderna Museet Stockholm (2003), and Helsinki Art Museum, HAM (2002). In 2002, he was nominated for the Carnegie Art Award, and his works were exhibited at the Reykjavik Art Museum in connection with that. He has been a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts since 2000.

ABOUT the exhibition

Håkan Rehnberg, By an Oak and a Rock

Håkan Rehnberg is one of Sweden’s influential artists, blending an unusual formal precision with an interest in the fundamental possibilities of sensuality in his artistic practice for several decades. His upcoming exhibition reveals a transformative direction in his work, notably evident in a new group of sculptures occupying the gallery’s three rooms. Here, Rehnberg takes into account the things—objects and materials—in his immediate surroundings, meeting their inherent characteristics, traits, and demands. In what can be described as a problem-solving process, Rehnberg creates sculptures that resonate in various ways—sometimes resembling instruments ready to be played. In other instances, the gesture is minimal, a sheet bent and cut with minimal impact on the original material. Together, the group represents a playful and diverse cast of characters.

Rehnberg describes each work as an attempt not to seek answers but to manage an impossible situation. The sculptures grasp the silence that Rehnberg argues is fundamental to his work. Here, the relationship between the external and materiality takes on a new reality unburdened by language constructions and predetermined rules.

In his painting, Rehnberg has long chosen to work with the same material—oil on sandblasted acrylic glass. Despite the repetition, he has continuously expanded the limits of his own painting by turning, twisting, confronting, and pushing away. The exhibition presents a series of new black and white paintings where the thickly applied gestures that characterized recent works have been replaced by a double movement. The color has eventually been scraped down to a smooth thin surface, leaving only a matte black. The intense movements have been replaced by vertical, massive forms where the gesture is only suggested in the contours.

The exhibition also features Rehnberg’s first video work, illuminating the cruel transformations constantly occurring around us with a scene from the sometimes violent reality of nature.

The entire exhibition is permeated with artistic questioning and interrogation. Earlier this year, Rehnberg articulated his artistic stance in a presentation at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

“So, I mean that Art does not belong to and should not be associated with the useful but that it belongs to the sublime. I would actually like to remove art from the beautiful and transfer it to the sublime spheres. – From measure to measurelessness. The experience of the sublime makes you suddenly speechless, struck with amazement, becomes formless and speechless, placed outside of oneself. Language and form are shattered in the wake of the sublime. It’s like the speech or artwork is not delivered – but held back – and becomes visible in this restraint. And by that, I mean an extreme visibility.”

From Professionalism and Other, Håkan Rehnberg, (2023)

ABOUT the gallery

Galerie Nordenhake was founded in 1973 in Malmö by Claes Nordenhake and moved to Stockholm in 1986. In 2000, a branch was opened in a former department store on Zimmerstrasse in Berlin to later change address to Lindenstrasse. Claes Nordenhake is a driving force in the art fair Art Berlin Contemporary and Gallery Weekend Berlin. Ben Loveless started as director of Stockholms Galleri in 2005. Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm moved from Fredsgatan to the gallery cluster at Hudiksvallsgatan as one of the first galleries in 2007. In the spring of 2018, Galerie Nordenhake focus was opened, an unmanned room on Karlavägen 20 in Stockholm and during the autumn, project-based NHMX was opened in Mexico City.

Among the gallery’s represented Swedish artists are Ann Edholm, Christian Andersson, Håkan Rehnberg and Olle Bærtling. Foreign artists include Ulrich Rückriem, John Coplans and Gerard Byrne. Among the artists who have exhibited at the gallery through the ages are Mona Hatoum, Jimmie Durham, Richard Serra and Giacomo Balla.

The gallery was designed by architect Erik Andersson.
T +46 8 21 18 92


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