23.08.11- Galleri Magnus Karlsson – Multiple artists

Stranger than fiction – May 25 to July 01, 2023 – Fredsgatan 12 – Open Tuesday–Friday 12–5 pm, Saturday 12–4 pm, and by appointment

ABOUT the artists

David Almeida (b. 1989) lives and works in São Paulo, Brazil. Almeida experiments with different traditional media in his work and is captivated by his immediate surroundings – the city, the Brazilian countryside and nature. In the paintings, the boundaries between the figurative and the imaginary are examined. Occasionally the materiality and the act of painting is allowed to take control and the images approach the metaphysical and spiritual. Almeida approaches concepts such as memory, body and perception in landscape painting that subtly manifest culture and nationality. In the paintings, there is an open dialogue between the motif and the craft.

b chehayeb (b. 1990) lives and works in New York, US. In her paintings, chehayeb reconstructs lost memories and sensory experiences distorted by nostalgia, gender, language and cultural hybridity. The almost abstract paintings are characterized by rich textures, gestures, saturated colours and are perforated by recurring objects, symbols, anecdotes and cultural references. chehayeb’s paintings can be seen as autobiographical, where each image represents a moment or an emotional experience.

Mikael Lo Presti ( b. 1989) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. The ability to refer to a past and simultaneously point towards a future, forms the foundation of Lo Presti’s artistic imagery. Paintings are structured in a way that insinuate places we remember, and images we recognize. The associative structure draws us between the past, our present, and a geographical ambiguity. Lo Presti’s process has an inherent ambivalence that goes hand in hand with the content of the paintings and a free associative approach to heritage and history.

Ebba Svensson (b. 1997) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. In Svensson’s paintings, there is a visual struggle between what happens on the surface and in the depth of the image. The paintings have a highly tangible materiality and are executed with a characteristic method where dry pigment is worked into primed canvases. In recent works, she has developed the technique further using oil paint. The gardens and parks depicted in her works are reminiscent of post-impressionist painting from the early 20th century, but with a distinct relation to the present, where the lush greenery turns into suffocating sweetness and in the thicket of the shrubs rests a certain mystique.

Chi Tien Lin Cheng (b. 1996) lives and works in Sanyi, Taiwan. Cheng’s paintings bear traces of a deepened interest in Buddhism and traditional Chinese storytelling. He uses allegories to depict human existence shaped by daily life, memories, dreams, culture and collective consciousness. The abstract shapes in Cheng’s works function as a bridge between material and immaterial spheres, the visible and the spiritual. The paintings waver between a personal micro cosmos and a universal macro perspective.

Agnes Treherne (b. 1987) lives and works in East Sussex, United Kingdom. Treherne’s paintings are based on observations of daily life and the landscape surrounding her, like stills from a film with an enduring gleam. Time has stopped and imprinted the desolate figures in a refined and eternal light. The composition of the works appears to be planned thoroughly as well as spontaneously. The colours are meticulously balanced but also genuine. The characters seem overwhelmed by the landscape and weighed down by existence, but here there is also a lightness and a barren beauty that can give hope and reassurance.

Simon Wadsted ( b. 1994) lives and works in Stockholm. Wadsted says he is largely driven by intuition and describes his paintings as reactions to the surrounding reality. The works are characterized by the use of light as an indication of events. Starting from the ordinary, there is a dramatic shift towards the dreamy and strange. The motifs themselves become subjects and question how they should be defined and understood. The works offer an alternative interpretation and a new perspective on the familiar.

ABOUT the exhibition

We are pleased to present the group exhibition Stranger Than Fiction at the gallery. Seven artists not previously shown at the gallery are presented here: David Almeida (Brazil), b chehayeb (United States), Mikael Lo Presti (Sweden), Ebba Svensson (Sweden), Chi Tien Lin Cheng (Taiwan), Agnes Treherne (United Kingdom) and Simon Wadsted (Sweden). ’T is strange; – but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold! – Lord Byron The term Stranger Than Fiction refers to circumstances so bizarre or unexpected that they seem too strange to be fictional. Lord Byron first used the phrase in his satirical and epic poem Don Juan (1824). He wanted to emphasize how real events have the potential to be more extraordinary and surprising than events a writer could ever imagine. The term is often used to describe inexplicable situations and reflects a fascination for the unusual and extraordinary in art as well as real life. It can also be applied to describe the rambling development in the world on many levels. The exhibition features seven artists with different backgrounds – three Swedish and four international. They belong to a young generation of painters, born between 1987 and 1997, and relate to figuration in some way. In many cases, their art draws content from their own reality, experience and personal history. However, the images do not only portray the observed or common. In their work lays a great variety of expression and materiality, from objective realism to dissolved abstraction. Painting does not allow itself to be limited by what is possible to imagine, but takes us to a place that is more remarkable than the fictional.

ABOUT the gallery

Galleri Magnus Karlsson was founded in 1990. The first 7 years the gallery was located in Västerås, a city 100 km west of Stockholm. It gradually gained a reputation as one of the most interesting contemporary galleries in Sweden. In August 1997 the gallery moved to Riddargatan 29 in Stockholm. The focus of the gallery has been to present emerging artists from Sweden and establish long term relations and representations. The gallery has done international art fairs since 1999, such as Liste, Basel, Art Forum Berlin, Frieze Art Fair, London, The Armory Show, New York , ABC, Berlin, Chart, Copenhagen, Frieze Art Fair, New York, Art Berlin & FIAC, Paris, to present those artists also internationally. The gallery also co-produces exhibitions, pop-up exhibitions and projects with museums and galleries in Sweden and abroad. The gallery is, since 2005, located on the ground floor of The Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts on Fredsgatan 12. Hellvi Kännungs is Galleri Magnus Karlsson’s summer project room in a rebuilt limestone barn on the island of Gotland. Since 2011 it is an alternative exhibition space to the gallery in Stockholm. Some of the gallery artists have curated their own exhibitions here and it has been a place to explore new ideas. Hellvi Kännungs has become a meeting point for artists and public in an environment completely different from the urban gallery space. The proximity to nature and the seclusion has contributed to a prestigious and inspiring atmosphere. In addition to the exhibitions, the gallery artists have also stayed at Hellvi Kännungs during periods of work and relaxation. The gallery is a partner in the hotel Le Manoir in Banyuls-sur-Mer. This little gem is located in French Catalonia where the Pyrenees meet the Mediterranean Sea. We have made presentations by some of our artists here and works by gallery artists are shown in the public areas and bedrooms throughout the hotel.

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