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Johan Söderström

#427 Portrait Of A Stone

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Johan Söderström

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#427 Portrait Of A Stone by Johan Söderström
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#427 Portrait Of A Stone

by

Johan Söderström

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$ 1,500

Overview

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2022

Filler and stone on board

Unique Work

Dimensions: 84cm (H) x 64cm (W) x 5cm (D) / 33.1" (H) x 25.2" (W) x 2" (D)

Note: Actual colours may vary due to photography & computer settings.

Artist Statement

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Filler, oak panel, stone

The work is about the complex relationship between representation and reality. Language is infinitely stretchable in itself, but images and words must be represented in the physical matter to communicate. Thereby they lose their plasticity and become bound to size, time and materiality.
But the object, however, is always already a representation because we can only experience it through our senses. When we perceive it, it has lost its immediacy and concrete presence. The claim it takes on our consciousness is entirely subjective and infinitely flexible. The question of perspective, what is near and far, big or small, thus becomes impossible to answer.

Drawing a portrait is an encounter. The stone stands in the place it was when it was depicted, on top of the panel. The signified is part of the image, just as the image is part of the reality of the signified. I am trying to show the limitlessness between language and the concrete. It is one, just as we are connected with our surroundings. But to experience it, we must lose our subjective position and leave ourselves. Only then can we portray something new which is not already inside ourselves. To create you must also change.

I have drawn a stone because of its insignificance. My drawing might be unremarkable. But nothing is really insignificant. The world can feel dense, impenetrable and overwhelming. But attention makes negligible things clear and gives them meaning. It is important to remember that little strokes fell great oaks.

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Artist Profile

Born: 1969

Hometown: Stockholm

Based in: Oslo

I am interested in process-based painting and the profound human solitude. While exploring one thing, I sometimes try to formulate something about the other.

My work is made from construction filler in oak frames. I have developed a unique technique, where I insert 6 mm thick layers of grey and white filler into the frame like intarsia, instead of on top of each other as in conventional painting. The result gives a graphic expression that at the same time has tactile materiality. I use some simple but clearly defined methods to apply the filler in the frame. These limit the expression of cognitively controlled processes, thus opening an opportunity to reveal something unknown.

They often take the form of series or installations that extend into the room.

I base my work on the notion of a primary alienation in the human subject. By using painting, I want to formulate something around this lack, or the desire, integrated into our perception of reality. I want to explore whether the problem can illuminate other forms of social and cultural alienation—for example, privileges, class, racism and xenophobia. In short, different types of distances between people.

I have previously shown works in Scandinavia at Konsthallen Trollhättan, Konsthallen Lokstallet, Konstepidemin, Kristiansands Konsthall, Akershus Kunstsenter, Trondheim Senter for Samtidskunst och Tenthaus Oslo. I am educated in Norway at Kunstakademiet in Trondheim and live and work in Oslo.


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