22.10.14. Galleri Glas – Charlotte Fröling

Galleri Glas – Charlotte Fröling – Swans, Visions of light and darkness – Nybrogatan 34 – Open Tue. Thu. 12 to 18, Fri. 12 to 17, Sat. Sun. 12 to 16.00

ABOUT the artists

Charlotte Fröling, born in 1964 and active in Stockholm, has a background as an economist but since the end of the 00s has chosen to fully devote herself to her passion; art and photography. Since ancient times, the swan’s and its symbol as the light — but also the majestic bird’s darker, aggressive sides — captivated humans. In it, Greek mythology says seven swans circled the island of Letos where Apollo, the light God, was born and his father Zeus gave him a golden chariot drawn by just swans. In the famous story of Leda and the Swan, the queen of Sparta was seduced Led by the god Zeus disguised as a swan. In art, music, literature, and crafts, the swan always has been richly represented. Perhaps because it is so strongly associated with love and eternal faithfulness. Hilma af Klint’s series The Swan, painted in 1914–15, inspired the artist Charlotte Fröling in her photographic work with the swans. “Of Klint’s swans
symbolizes opposite poles – light-dark, female-male, life-death. The paintings show the multifaceted nature of the swan,” says Charlotte Fröling. “At one time both light and romantic become aggressive, dark in the next moment, and terrifying. Watching two male swans fight to the death is a both fascinating and terrifying experience.”
For many years, she herself does not know how many, Charlotte Fröling has returned to her beloved swans in her artistic work. On her early wanderings in nature and along Stockholm’s quays, she has in the soft morning light
photographed hundreds of swans. “I wanted to create works of swans that had their own stamp and found by chance
in the motive,” says Charlotte. “One brilliantly cold January morning I saw the swans that peacefully lay and slumbered like scattered white leaves on the dark water surface. They were in the shade in perfect hazy ambient light and I shot one series of pictures. I showed my photo lab the photos and their enthusiasm was the start of this exhibition.” “We had heard about the poetic images, and the very own expression which Charlotte’s swans represent. It just has to be shown,” says Elin Forsberg at Galleri Glas. Galleri Glas was founded by Anna Bromberg Sehlberg and Elin Forsberg in 2017 as an arena for contemporary art glass. The gallery is located at Nybrogatan 34 i Stockholm and continuously shows separate exhibitions with Swedish and international artists.

ABOUT the exhibition

Charlotte Fröling often looks for inspiration for her motifs in art history and has an almost painterly touch in her photographs. Starting from a motif, she works in series where she collects material over many months, visits different places, creates compositions and studies light and weather conditions. It is not the subject in itself that is the primary thing, but it is the form, the composition and above all the light that she constantly searches for and returns to. Over the years, the content of the images has been reduced and the motifs have been abstracted. The relationship between light and dark appears more and more.

The swan is a recurring motif in art history and has been interpreted in many different ways. In Greek mythology, the god Zeus transforms himself into a swan when he has erotic desires for Queen Leda. The French 18th-century artist Francois Boucher returned several times in his paintings to this dramatic scene where the swan symbolized both arousing desire and a threatening creature. In one of René Magritte’s most famous works, L’art de la conversation, he has painted two swans in a nocturnal scene that symbolize eternal and omnipresent love.

The swan is also a symbol of the supernatural in many mythologies and religions. In Hinduism, for example, the swan is the vehicle of the god Brahma and symbolizes the soul. Even for the theosophically oriented Hilma af Klint, the swan was a central theme. During spiritual séances and spiritualist gatherings, 1906 – 1915 the Paintings for the Temple were added, a suite comprising 193 paintings in different series and groups, where the word temple can rather be seen as a metaphor for spiritual development. The last paintings were motifs with swans in which she explored polarity in varying degrees of abstraction through a black and a white swan striving for unity.

On a cold January morning a few years ago, Charlotte was walking through a wintry Stockholm and saw a couple of white swans in the dark water. This became the origin of the series Swans – Visions of light and darkness. For a long period she studied these swans in detail and photographed them regularly. Her image of the swan as a beautiful and loving bird that lives faithfully in twoness changed during the journey. The Swan turned out to be considerably more complex than that. It is true that swans have a partner for life, but only if it results in young. If that doesn’t happen, they abandon each other to seek new partners. The act of love itself is initially a beautiful and compliant dance until, at the moment of mating, the male pushes the female under the water. Otherwise, the couple is very equal when it comes to taking care of the young and both share the responsibility of incubating and, often violently and aggressively, defending the territory against intruders.

In the series Swans – Visions of light and darkness, the swans’ behavior can also be seen from a general human perspective. Light vs. dark, community vs. solitude – even when the swans are together, they are alone, self-contained, the defenseless vs. the strong. In addition to the dramatic visuals where the light forms clearly stand out against darker parts, these images convey an existential depth about the fragility of life.

Lena Ryden, Bukowskis

ABOUT the gallery

Galleri Glas was started to highlight contemporary art glass and to breathe new life into an art form that has a strong position in Swedish cultural heritage. The gallery has in a short time become a natural arena for meetings between artists and an initiated audience looking for unique objects. Galleri Glas opened in March 2017 and was founded by Anna Bromberg Sehlberg and Elin Forsberg. The gallery is located at Nybrogatan 34 in central Stockholm and shows ongoing separate exhibitions with leading Swedish and international glass artists.
Read more at http://www.galleriglas.se

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