Lars Nilsson

Umeå, 1.3–13.4  2012

Galleri Andersson/Sandström proudly presents the first solo exhibition with Lars Nilsson, the artist who for decades has been leaving his own unmistakable tracks across the Swedish art scene. Nilsson’s world of ideas has consistently explored the human cipher: our impulses, intentions and shadowlands. His work is a double-edged sword; it may be considered offensive or provocative, but it always tickles the imagination, pushing its boundaries.

Nilsson has for long introduced us to the challenges of male sexuality, now he approaches the great questions of life through the creation of suggestive visions. Here, the atmosphere emanates from a Jungian narrative, wherein the hidden symbols of the human psyche are exposed. This exhibition features a series of works that together weave a brooding tale. In the sculpture installation, The Age of Innocence, we see a boy staring at an enormous clod of earth, balanced on point. The hovering mass is reminiscent of Rene Magritte’s painting of a levitating mountain castle, Le Château de Pyrénées from 1959, but also of the contemporary Japanese filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki and his animated worlds. At first glance, the boy looks like a neo-classical sculpture, but here he has left the idyllic park setting behind, to face the astonishing sight of this day of judgment. His face is difficult to read. The installation is surrounded by painterly photographs of natural settings: the suite Monstrum, The 8th of September, and Park. These scenes reveal to us the boy’s former lair, a now decaying park both intimate and distant.

The exhibition is a tapestry of impressions, impulses and historical references. Our visual intelligence is challenged, in thought as well as emotion. Nilsson says he is convinced of the creative force that arises where provocation meets reply, especially so in the dialogue between the artist and the history of art. Perhaps it is this very dialogue that holds the main role here? For in the conversation between a timeless monolith and a blank but watchful figure, Nilsson seems to capture just that primordial condition which characterizes man’s relationship to his own discoveries. This post-apocalyptic dreamscape is posing questions about reality versus fantasy, and the forces of nature overcoming civilization. As such, Lars Nilsson is approaching the elevated pursuit of the Romantics.

Lars Nilsson, born 1956, lives and works in Stockholm. His artistic methods include painting, sculpture, video, and spatial installation. Among the more extensive solo exhibitions, we find venues such as Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and the National Gallery of Denmark in Copenhagen. Exhibitions at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin, PS1 Museum in New York, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, and biennials in Venice, Moscow and Seville are also worth mentioning. Lars Nilsson is a fine arts professor, positioned at the Malmö Art Academy during the years 1995 – 2006. This exhibition marks the beginning of the collaboration between the artist and Galleri Andersson/Sandström.