The First Sculpture / Johan Thurfjell
Jan 11 – Feb 17, 2018

 

Johan Thurfjell is known for his lyrical and suggestive works that, in their reduced form, convey a strong narrative content, evoking sagas and fables, fears and fantasies. Regardless of his choice of material or technique Thurfjell’s sculptures, paintings, video works and installations show a dexterity and pleasure in his craftsmanship.

 

 

 

For his new exhibition at Galerie Nordenhake, Thurfjell forgoes his previous use of mise-en-scène as a story-telling device. Instead he explores the role of sculpture as a cultural indicator in its earliest and most primitive iterations and examines the communicative potential of form-making as an essentially human endeavor.

 

 

 

Working primarily in papier-mâché and clay, in a palette of plain white and painted greyscale, Thurfjell carefully renders the most basic material from an elemental landscape – sticks and stones – to explore the point at which raw material becomes sculpture; when nature becomes culture.

 

 

 

The process of transition from nature to culture, indicated in the title of Levi-Strauss’s pioneering anthropological classic The Raw and the Cooked, is illustrated in the working of a branch to fuel, fuel to fire and fire to hearth, creating a symbol for not only warmth and food preparation but also community and by extension, society. Rendered here in marble-white, the campfire is accompanied by other signs of life: through a small intervention two sticks from the forest floor are arranged into an arrow to indicate direction; in Giant a group of rocks placed in a precarious pile become a cairn, while a standing bundle of sticks and branches bound together suggest a figure in Stick Man. With the simplest of means these first sculptures assume the communicative signs of human existence in an otherwise primordial landscape.

 

 

Johan Thurfjell / Photos Calle Tillberg

Johan Thurfjell, born 1970, lives and works outside Stockholm. He has produced some notable site-specific works, most recently for The Jewish Museum c/o The German Church in Stockholm (2017), connected to the work Navigators exhibited at Espace Mira, Porto and Galerie der Künstler, Munich (2015-2016) and I Come to You Naked, exhibited at Strängnäs Cathedral (2011). Solo exhibitions include Sweetest Thing, Uppsala Konstmuseum (2011), Dim Bearing, Eskilstuna Konstmuseum (2011), Jim’s Room, Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art (2007), Färgfabriken in Stockholm (2004) and Index in Stockholm (2001). Group exhibitions include Personligt, Gotlands Konstmuseum (2016), If you tell a story you add more, Galerie der Künstler, Munich and Espace Espace Mira, Porto (2016, 2015), Suecia Contemporare, Uppsala Konstmuseum (2015), OSL Contemporary, Oslo (2013) and Thrice upon a time, Magasin 3, Stockholm (2010).

 

The First Sculpture / Johan Thurfjell
January 11 – February 17, 2018 / Galerie Nordenhake, Stockholm
Please visit the exhibition page >

Art Will Set You Free
Conversation with Photographer Bill Phelps
As life was turning constantly during this past year, one of the things that constantly kept me looking, hoping...
+
Dalton Paula: Portraits
Jul 29 – Oct 30, 2022
Dalton Paula works in painting, drawing, video, performance and sculpture around Afro-Brazilian histories and experiences. This exhibition focus in...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .130
The Summer's End
The summer's end is upon us, the respite from a life on pause rounded out. The pandemic in the...
+
Futurities, Uncertain / 2022 Cornell Biennial
Jul 13 – Dec 18, 2022
Inviting celebratory imaginations and enactments, the 2022 Cornell Biennial performs an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic...
+
Bernd & Hilla Becher
Jul 15 – Nov 6, 2022
Bernd & Hilla Becher changed the course of late 20th century photography. Working as a couple, they focused on...
+
Our 5th Year Anniversary
ARTPIL / Prescription .129
We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has...
+
Deana Lawson
Various / 2022–2023
This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Lawson, a singular voice in photography today...
+
Rencontres d’Arles 2022
Jul 4 – Sep 25, 2022
Artists who use the medium are there to remind us of what we want to neither hear nor see....
+
Art Will Set You Free
Conversation with Photographer Bill Phelps
As life was turning constantly during this past year, one of the things that constantly kept me looking, hoping...
+
Dalton Paula: Portraits
Jul 29 – Oct 30, 2022
Dalton Paula works in painting, drawing, video, performance and sculpture around Afro-Brazilian histories and experiences. This exhibition focus in...
+
ARTPIL / Prescription .130
The Summer's End
Pack up the beach bags and the picnic baskets. Count the votes. Back to school, return to work, live the new normal.
+
Futurities, Uncertain / 2022 Cornell Biennial
Jul 13 – Dec 18, 2022
Inviting celebratory imaginations and enactments, the 2022 Cornell Biennial performs an artistic call and response to counter singular utopic...
+
Bernd & Hilla Becher
Jul 15 – Nov 6, 2022
Bernd & Hilla Becher changed the course of late 20th century photography. Working as a couple, they focused on...
+
Our 5th Year Anniversary
ARTPIL / Prescription .129
We are rounding out our fifth year with nearly 3 million visits strong. A very exciting journey it has been, indeed.
+
Deana Lawson
Various / 2022–2023
This exhibition is the first museum survey dedicated to the work of Lawson, a singular voice in photography today...
+
Rencontres d’Arles 2022
Jul 4 – Sep 25, 2022
Artists who use the medium are there to remind us of what we want to neither hear nor see....
+