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Håkan Rehnberg, "For the Woodpecker"

Berlin, February 05th - March 12th, 2011
Image No. 1 of Håkan Rehnberg

Installation view

 

Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to present a solo exhibition with new works by Håkan Rehnberg. The artist is a leading intellectual figure in Sweden and represented the country at the 17th Sydney Biennale in 2010. Rehnberg's field of interest is not limited to visual arts, but it spreads in different directions such as literature and philosophy.

Ambivalence is a fundamental concept in Rehnberg's work. A constant tension between control and unintentionality is intrinsically embedded in it. After a first period of experimentation he renounced the brush and any other support than industrial sandblasted plexiglass for his painting. The material allowed an immediacy which did not require a ground or preparation, thus reflecting a radical and precise attitude towards the medium of painting. His gesture traces and erases, conceals and reveals. The transparent, milky ground does not allow anything to be hidden. Each stroke of paint has necessarily to be definitive.

The exhibition ‚For The Woodpecker' marks a major renewal in his practice. Rehnberg presents a recent body of paintings along with two sculptures and a wall object, all of them closely related and defining different formalizations around a merely hinted theme. Two short texts written by the artist add a further layer to the work and, in a certain way, opens it up towards a wider understanding of his complex and multifold aesthetic attitude.

In the new series of paintings, Rehnberg abandons the methodology he developed within the last decade. The previous practice consisted of a process where the oil paint was applied in modulated movements with a broad metal spatula. The outcome was a combination of vertical and horizontal bands of color;  an uneven pattern made of stratification and rarefied areas, meditative and processual. The recent paintings start with a monochrome base, a given surface potentially open to infinite elaborations. The earlier controlled gesture metamorphoses into a frenetic rythm, where a small palette knife acts with acute and incisive movements. Now the artist tends to deny the two-dimensional nature of the  pictorial surface; his instinct seems more attracted by its flesh, its bare and unavoidable physicality. Instead of working with its skin, he delves into it. Carving to the bone.

 

 

Håkan Rehnberg was born 1953 in Göteborg. He lives and works in Stockholm. The artist has been working with Galerie Nordenhake since 1992 and 'To the Woodpecker' is his third exhibition in Berlin. He exhibited widely both nationally and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions include : Malmö Konstmuseum (2007), Studio A Museum gegenstandsfreier Kunst, Otterndorf (2006), Liljevalchs Konsthall (2002), Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Malmö Konstall (1990) and Centre Culturel Suédois, Paris (1986). Selected group exhibitions include : Magazin 3, Stockholm (2010), Charlottenborg Kunsthal, Copenhagen (2008), Millesgården, Lidingö (2007), Reykavik Art Museum and Helsinki City Art Museum (2002) and Kunstverein Frankfurt (1996).


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Image No. 2 of Håkan Rehnberg

Installation view

 
Image No. 3 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 170 x 150 cm

 
Image No. 4 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 150 x 135 cm

 
Image No. 5 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 170 x 150 cm

 
Image No. 6 of Håkan Rehnberg

Installation view

 
Image No. 7 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 65 x 75 cm

 
Image No. 8 of Håkan Rehnberg

Installation view

 
Image No. 9 of Håkan Rehnberg

Installation view

 
Image No. 10 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 170 x 150 cm

 
Image No. 11 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 170 x 150 cm

 
Image No. 12 of Håkan Rehnberg

Installation view

 
Image No. 13 of Håkan Rehnberg

Untitled, 2010, oil on acrylic glass, 65 x 75 cm





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