Martin Wickström: Mount Florida – retrospective


Galerie Leu is pleased to present the first exhibition of acclaimed Swedish artist Martin Wickström in Germany. 


Opening: Thursday, 8 December, 5-8pm


True art, according to Hermann Hesse in his educational novel Narziß und Goldmund (1930), arises when ideas and practice meet. The artist is thinker and craftsman in one person, Hesse recalled. Something similar is embodied by the Swedish artist Martin Wickström, who has become known, among other things, for his detailed, colorful photorealistic paintings and whimsical installations with ready-mades, in which things are taken out of context and transformed into existential question marks. 


Wickström draws inspiration from most things that catch his eye. World News and History. Old newspaper clippings, scientific findings, great masters and pop kitsch. The world is reflected in his art. The Swedish 'people's home' and playing sun cats, when the long fingers of the sun touch some house facades in New York. Travels, including to China, India, Japan and Cuba, characterizes his work. Newly discovered locations such as Glasgow's Mount Florida neighborhood are reflected in more recent work. 


The exhibition includes both, older works and paintings that were created very recently. However, it is not necessary to determine the chronology in order to approach the art of Martin Wickström. He does, repeats, renews, goes back, turns and twists old patterns, discovers something untried, adds something from the past. Takes away and adds... He paints, carpenters, builds and pulls wires. Focused attention on the "here and now". 


Works slide into each other with their own logic. The colors are strong, the cuts bold, the formats change. The linear narrative loosens up. Each work in the exhibition has its own story. Here is a homage to the friend who died tragically on K2, the alpinist Daniel Bidner, and there is a greeting to the newborn grandson Errol. People, known and unknown, come and go as yesterday becomes today. Europe emerges in a collection of free-floating impressions across time and space. Personal and collective memories are interwoven. Nostalgia and humor mix. (Joanna Persman) 


Martin Wickström, born in 1957, studied at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm and at Gerlesborgsskolan, Stockholm. He debuted in the 1980s and had his artistic breakthrough in the 1990s. Since then he has had a number of notable exhibitions in Sweden and abroad and his works are included in the collections of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Göteborg Art Museum, Malmö Museum and EMMA, Espoo Museum of Modern Art, Espoo, Finland.

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