previous arrow
next arrow

Martin Wickström “Domestic Violence”

Stockholm, October 1 – November 7, 2020

Artist talk from Brillo Vox October 22 (external link, movie by Jörgen Brennicke, in swedish only)

The author Hans Gunnarsson asked me a few years ago if he could use a number of my paintings as a starting point for a collection of short stories. We grew up on the same street, Tunnlandsvägen, in Finspång. Time stands still there, most things are still the same. Probably both he and I have been impregnated by the dewy silence right on the outskirts, where society ends and nature takes over.

Curious and a little greedy, I started reading the finished short stories. They turned out to be extremely violent without exception. The book is permeated by brutal and in most cases deadly violence. I did not recognize myself, but it may be time for me to re-read my own world of images and motifs. –

– Martin Wickström, September 2020

Excerpt from main text in Wickström’s forthcoming book 10_20 written by Joanna Persman:

Hermann Hesse’s Narcissus is a brilliant yet sensible young man who diligently and successfully pursues his studies while remaining deeply focused on the world of ideas. Goldmund, on the other hand, is his exact opposite: a doer, a man of action who leaves the safety of their medieval monastery behind him and becomes a prowling vagabond intent on learning everything about the world. It soon becomes apparent, moreover, how blessed he is with his hands. True art, suggests Hesse in his 1930s bildungsroman, is born in the meeting of ideas with actions. Life can only be forged into something by someone with ideas. The creation of something that can be forged into life can only be achieved by someone who has mastered both the technique and the physical – or, if you prefer – material world. The idea must be shaped into an action in order to prevent it from being relegated to the spirit world. Hesse reminds us that the artist is, at once, a thinker and a craftsman.

All of these fragments could be clippings from a film. Like all those kisses in Cinema Paradiso that Alfredo had to cut as soon as the priest tinkled his censor’s bell. Later, they were picked up by Toto and given new life.

Time is constantly being devoured by its own manic forward progress. Like a bookkeeper of individual and collective memories, Martin Wickström keeps time in check and, through his art, creates a sense of now at the border crossing between the past and the future. In his exhibitions, he switches between painting and the use of various items and everyday objects, which together form total installations with a will of their own. Through his art, we are immersed in a world which, though similar to our own, is nevertheless unique, and where everything balances on the mighty threshold between reality and its magical mirror image.

The exhibition’s soundtrack is composed by Per Hägglund.

Martin Wickström (b. 1957 in Finspång) lives and works in Stockholm. Educated at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm, 1982-87. Has since his debut in Stockholm in 1983 exhibited regularly in galleries and institutions both in Sweden and around the world. His works are well represented in public and private collections: Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Göteborgs Konstmuseum, EMMA-Espoo Moderna Konstmuseum and Malmö Konstmuseum, among others.