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Future Watch: Emerging Into View

Whether called a list of what's on the radar, a future-watch or a spotlight-feature, C-print has over time on occasion put to paper displays of a number of emerging artists whose work we believe in and want to take a moment to turn the focus of our readers on. Without further ado and without inherent order; eight of the emerging artists in Sweden we are keenly setting out to keep an eye on for tomorrow.

8. Erik Thörnqvist

Still a student at the Royal Institute of the Art, Erik Thörnqvist strikes us as one of these artists with a great visionary eye and command that exceeds far beyond just singular artworks and rather is ascribed overall to the identity of his practice. Among his works is the video-work “Tactual Interest” (2018) to which he credits Mika Rottenberg as an inspirational figure, which looking at it gives you a hint of an inventive approach to making art along those very veins.

7. Anna Engver One of the recent 2018 recipients of the Anna-Lisa Thomson Award entailing an exhibition spot at Uppsala Konstmuseum, Anna Engver is currently showing in a group exhibition at Stene Projects with her first major solo exhibition due later in spring at Galleri Forsblom. Having first seen her work bringing a group of international art curators and professionals for a visit at her MFA degree show, there was in hindsight no instant appeal towards her work, because this is, which could be stressed, the sort of romantic expression where immediate impression leans so heavily on the appreciation of the choice of technique and charcoal as base. Her sketches based on layers and layers of “transferred” photographic imagery are not overtly adorned and kept to a seemingly raw execution which means they will appear an acquired taste for some. The works which conceal and disclose cityscapes, landscapes and various figurations allude inevitably to a sense of a past tense, all the while for whom gives them their due moment there might just be end gratification ahead, in so far they possibly do come to evoke a touching contemplation on the transience of time. There is something bold about the work that feels very commendable and certainly is distinctive to her right now as an emerging artist.

6. Erik Gustafsson

Gaining notoriety following an unusually dense exhibiting schedule in 2018 counting shows at Galleri Thomassen and the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, several photography festivals in Europe and a selection as Talent 2018 at Fotografiska in Stockholm, Erik Gustafsson is a contemporary photographer whose practice is very calibrated with what you might instinctually react to as common practice today or even the current canon of photography in the digital era; one where amateur photography has reached an intersection where the look of aestheticized fashion-editorial imagery, documentary and fiction routinely meet. However, there is an apparent degree of “disregarding” consistency in how the various approaches are levelled between singular images within the same install of his work, that ties its reading to a idiosyncratic authority imposing self-reference to the medium and its boundaries and possibilities, candor to the subjects and also humour, sometimes at once. It’s an interesting and through his hands a successful way to assemble narratives based on disparate fragments.

5. Mercedes Ardelius Blane

2018 ended on a very good note, catching Mercedes Ardelius Blane’s solo exhibition ”Soft Kernel” at Galleri OCH which reaffirmed the internationally potent quality of her work which had previously been noted during a Rundgang event at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm where she is currently a student. Her use of sand juxtaposed with spray paint in order to create figurative patterns and textures, inverting the dimensionality of her works and extending their spatial delineation is rather quite impressive.

4. Dina Isaeus-Berlin

Seen recently in a great group exhibition, ”The Yellow Wallpaper” based on a short-story by Charlotte Perkins-Gilman at Crumheaven (curated by Hanna Moores and Amy Worrall) where Dina’s work was aptly used to accentuate the tense narrative of the story of a woman’s spiraling descent into madness and the failed attempt to contain the inevitable outbreak. Dina’s first solo exhibition with Wetterling Gallery awaits in March by way of a stint exhibiting at the Lounge initiative at Konstnärshuset in Stockholm and Vårsalongen at Liljevalchs. Her compositions on mdf and the feeling of force and energy in motion through the gestures and strokes that transcend her work are compelling. Saying it is almost like resorting to a cliché but feels due in this case.

3. Ludvig Helin

A graduate of Umeå Art Academy, Ludvig Helin’s work was caught in a two-person exhibition in 2018 alongside painter Joakim Heidvall at the new premises of Galleri Flach at Konstakademien, presenting a new discovery for us. The topographic visual identity of his recent works bear an uncanny kinship to that of painter Andreas Eriksson (whose assistant he served as), however in much more expressive orchestrations where the partially sketching-technique-like application of colour offers an optical sense of layered surface-texture reminiscent by a stretch to that of woodcut. Resting between restrained elegance and exuberant frenzy, the celestial illumination in the best of his works perhaps what is gives his work that certain je ne sais quoi that makes it so much more eager to the eye than that of his some of his peers.

2. Emelie Sandström Recently coming off from a two-person exhibition stint at artist-run Pina in Vienna, Emelie Sandström’s work is due in March in C-print’s next curated group exhibition “Enskilda Samtal” (Dual Monologues) at GELB in Stockholm. Her terrific sculptural work departing from a crafty realm, emphasizes the corporeal where materials like wood and metals are joined in formations that connote artifacts and the fetishizing of objects. The robust materiality of wood strikes a chord of freshness in light of where sculpture is more commonly seen seated in more delicate and softer forms.

1. Salad Hilowle

Somalian-born Swedish artist Salad Hilowle so timely and beautifully channels and gives voice to experiences and sentiments shared by and within diasporic communities here, where the discrepancy between those of us with a need to tell and those with a need to understand remains large. Awarded the Karin and Erik Engman Award relating to his hometown Gävle already in first year at Konstfack in Stockholm, Hilowle has since duly gained acclaim for his work particularly in film where he looks at interconnections between identity and space, where space is conditioned namely by tradition and conformity as is the case in the immediate society surrounding us here. His 2017 short “Brev till Sverige” (Letter to Sweden) presents a narrative which departs from the correspondence between a mother and a daughter, following the mother’s return to her native Somalia and her nostalgic accounts of Sweden as she remembers it in the aftermath, contrasted by the realities of Sweden as seen through the eyes of the daughter. Most poignantly the film calls to mind how the process of shaping identity in a situation of post-migration is altogether in the end singular and greatly also may stretch apart within the close proximity of what is called home and its members.

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