Galerie Anhava is pleased to present the paintings, ink works and painted wood reliefs by three fascinating Swedish artists: Ferdinand Evaldsson, Pauline Fransson and Marcus Matt. Drawing in various ways on the traditions of painting, their works capture experiences relating to nature, corporality and sensory perceptions. Evaldsson’s painted wooden reliefs reach up to two meters in size whereas Fransson and Matt concentrate on smaller surfaces. This is the first time works by these artists are exhibited in Finland.
Ferdinand Evaldsson creates wood reliefs of different sizes that draw their symbolism from mental images and their palette from the tradition of icon painting. An icon painter by training, Evaldsson works with wood, metal, pigment and gelatine. It is the presence of the materials and the process of engaging with them that gives meaning to the work. Evaldsson uses his materials as a means to explore memories, both private and shared. The manual craft is for him a way to relive things he has forgotten but also to forget. It is his way of working with and understanding memory, trauma and history.
Evaldsson paints his wood reliefs in the same way icons are painted. The surface consists of up to twenty layers painted with pigment and gelatine and finished with saliva. The use of his own secretion establishes a physical connection to the work.Using spit to treat the surface of a work is an ancient method, and one that is more practical than mystical, as the enzymes in saliva break down the outer layer of gelatine. The surface becomes hard and cold to the touch, not unlike stone.
Evaldsson is interested in the memories that surround us. His works are a means for exploring the significance of memory and remembering. He is interested in the physical memory of the body, how memories are transmitted between individuals and how they finally end up in material form.
Pauline Fransson is inspired by her immediate environment. She has lived in Nybro in southern Sweden since her childhood with some few exceptions, and she constantly observes shapes and colours in those familiar surroundings. They give rise to bodily experiences that she then uses in her paintings. On her daily walks, the details of her paintings find their precise form and the mind becomes clearer, giving direction to the process of painting.
For Fransson, paintings of different sizes have different sounds. The sound of a small painting is intimate, while a large one is imbued with a more forceful emotion, yet both share the same language. Fransson often writes before and while she paints, and the Swedish titles, as well as the colour palette, carry an array of meanings and moods. Fransson prepares the egg tempera herself and the presence and conversation between the oil paint and tempera, side by side one another, is important in her paintings.
In terms of motifs, Fransson’s paintings strive to maintain a balance between the figurative and the abstract. Along with details familiar from nature, there are hidden and disguised forms, glimpses and colours that vanish into the air. They are embodied memories from the area where Fransson lives and is the source for her paintings. The vulnerability of both ever-changing nature and the human body are present in the works.
Marcus Matt has mentioned that his works could be described as postcards sent to the viewer from an unknown place. The sources of Matt’s condense expression stem from a wide range of thoughts and experiences, transferred to the canvas through both wide and wet, and bare and almost scratched, brushstrokes. Matt’s technique is airy and beautiful, his surfaces filled with brushstrokes that are effortlessly alive, his visual vocabulary concentrated and pithy, his muted palette gentle. The sparse, sign-like forms almost seem to move with the surface: in Planet’s Dream, a celestial body rises up from the centre of an active red surface; in Long Separation, the white outline of a hand emerges from a dense mass of brushstrokes. The exhibition features also a series of Matt’s delicate ink works on paper.
Marcus Matt’s works are inspired by philosophical, literary and pictorial starting points, which are condensed into a beautifully simple imagery. In creating the piece Radiowaves, Matt was intrigued by the way rain is represented by lines in traditional Japanese woodcuts, as well as the idea he encountered in a poem by Raymond Carver that radio waves might find it easier to travel after rain. “I’m looking for that rare event when the painting starts to speak to me, when I’m absorbed in the paint itself and in the canvas instead of my own desires.”
Ferdinand Evaldsson (b. 1988) is a visual artist based in Stockholm. Having earned his MFA from Konstfack in 2020, Evaldsson’s most recent solo exhibitions have been the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation grant exhibition at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2021) and at Elastic Gallery, Jädraås (2021). His work has been included in the following art fairs and group exhibitions: Monopol Art Fair, Stockholm (2020); Galleri Thomassen, Gothenburg (2023); Elastic Gallery, Stockholm (2022, 2020); KHM, Malmö (2022); EKA, Tallinn (2021); Liljevalchs, Stockholm (2022); Mint, Stockholm (2020) and Konsthall C, Stockholm (2019). Evaldsson received a Edstrandska Foundation scholarship (2022) and a Maria Bonnier Dahlin Foundation grant (2021). He has work in the following collections: Moderna Museet; Bonniers Konstsamling; the public Swedish art collections of Gävleborg, Skåne, Stockholm, and Örebro; and private collections in Europe and the United States.
Pauline Fransson (b. 1990) lives and works in Nybro, Sweden. She graduated with an MFA from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen in 2021. Fransson has shown her work in several solo and group exhibitions in Sweden, Denmark, the United States and China. Her most recent exhibitions have been at Olivia Edwards Gallery, New York (2023); Berg Gallery, Stockholm (2022); Bricks Gallery, Copenhagen (2022); Enter Art Fair, Copenhagen (2022); SEART; Museum Vandalorum, Värnamo (2020); Nordic Art Center, Xiamen (2019); and Kalmar Konstmuseum, Kalmar (2019). Fransson’s works are held in collections such as the Public Art Agency of Sweden, the Art Association of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Kalmar Konstmuseum, Region Kronoberg, the County Council, and Kalmar County, as well as other public and private collections.
Marcus Matt (b. 1992) lives and works in Malmö. He graduated with an MFA from Malmö Art Academy in 2017, and in 2014 he studied at Cooper Union in New York. In 2017 Matt was awarded the Bernadotte scholarship from the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, and in 2018 he had a solo exhibition at the Royal Swedish Academy of the Fine Arts. Marcus Matt has participated in numerous exhibitions, e.g. at Malmö Art Museum (2022), RAVINEN kulturhus in Båstad (2021), Galleri Arnsdtedt in Östra Karup (2021), Charlottenborg Kunsthalle in Copenhagen (2017) and Werkhalle Wiesenburg in Berlin (2017). His works are included in public collections, such as Gävle Art Center, Public Art Agency Sweden, Region Skåne Art Collection and Dalarna County Art Collection.