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 >

30 Under 30 Women Photographers / 2023
Selections Announced
For its 14th edition, Artpil announces the 2023 selection of its annual 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, with styles...
+
First Look 2023
Feb 1 – Mar 31, 2023
Every photograph tells a story. A portfolio allows artists to explore the complexities of their subject, and provide context...
+
Larry Amponsah / The Soil From Which We Came
Jan 11 – Feb 17, 2023
This exhibition continues the artist’s experimentation through collage and painting, evoking an awareness of interconnectivity and focus on contemporary...
+
New Year / 2023
Semantic Shift, Option Delete
Again, we arrive at another year. 2022 was unsparing of conflict and confusion, uncertainty, and the highs and lows...
+
Inflorescence / Ximena Garrido-Lecca
Portikus / Nov 12, 2022 – Feb 12, 2023
Garrido-Lecca has successfully managed to recreate a moment divided in time and space, imbued with the themes dearest to...
+
In the Eye of the Storm
Nov 29, 2022 – Apr 30, 2023
The exhibition presents the ground-breaking art produced in Ukraine in the first decades of the twentieth century, showcasing trends...
+
Interior
Nov 10, 2022 – Feb 3, 2023
The exhibition Interior is conceived as a gathering. Each work a portrait in one sense or another, they share...
+
Works & Collections Online
ARTPIL / Prescription .134
Arpil is proud to announce the long awaited Works & Collections with unique contemporary art pieces, limited edition photography,...
+
30 Under 30 Women Photographers / 2023
Selections Announced
For its 14th edition, Artpil announces the 2023 selection of its annual 30 Under 30 Women Photographers, with styles...
+
First Look 2023
Feb 1 – Mar 31, 2023
Every photograph tells a story. A portfolio allows artists to explore the complexities of their subject, and provide context...
+
Larry Amponsah / The Soil From Which We Came
Jan 11 – Feb 17, 2023
This exhibition continues the artist’s experimentation through collage and painting, evoking an awareness of interconnectivity and focus on contemporary...
+
New Year / 2023
Semantic Shift, Option Delete
Again, we arrive at another year. 2022 was unsparing of conflict and confusion, uncertainty, and the highs and lows...
+
Inflorescence / Ximena Garrido-Lecca
Portikus / Nov 12, 2022 – Feb 12, 2023
Garrido-Lecca has successfully managed to recreate a moment divided in time and space, imbued with the themes dearest to...
+
In the Eye of the Storm
Nov 29, 2022 – Apr 30, 2023
The exhibition presents the ground-breaking art produced in Ukraine in the first decades of the twentieth century, showcasing trends...
+
Interior
Nov 10, 2022 – Feb 3, 2023
The exhibition Interior is conceived as a gathering. Each work a portrait in one sense or another, they share...
+
Works & Collections Online
ARTPIL / Prescription .134
Arpil is proud to announce the long awaited Works & Collections with unique contemporary art pieces, limited edition photography,...
+