Contemporary art from Sweden

Contemporary Swedish art: previous >

Andreas Johansson

Andreas Johansson
 

Could we be correct in predicting a cult following for Andreas Johansson's work? After all, his fashionably 'desolesque' pop-up photo-collages seem certain to appeal to the kind of youthful, design-savvy crowd who don't want to work too hard to enjoy their art. And Johansson's love of skateboarding, reflected in his imaginary landscapes, potentially adds to the hipster credentials.

Such remarks, while effectively lumping his work alongside urban art's more tedious one-liners, are not, in fact, intended to denigrate Johansson's craft, which we're obviously fascinated by, too.

His beautifully constructed miniature no-man's-lands successfully merge fantasies of a mythic, wide-horizoned America with the realities of almost any town's crumbling lots: liminal, potent spaces that function as arenas for non-conformity and freedom.

What's more, Johansson's foray into the format of the pop-up book not only consolidates the ingenuity of his collages, it conflates a specific emblem of childhood escapism with far more adult, far less conventional fictional playgrounds.

Andreas Johansson, art from Sweden
Andreas Johansson, Swedish contemporary art
 

 

Emil Holmer

Emil Holmer
 

Swedish artist Emil Holmer is currently based in Berlin - and it shows. His dirtily expressive canvases have a rough-edged quality that's generally lacking in the work of his stay-at-home compatriots, while the creative influence of fellow-Berliners such as André Butzer is both evident and pervasive. In fact, Holmer's painting has, at times, skirted dangerously close to genericism, the work of a follower rather than a leader.

Close, but not that close. There's always been a robustly individual talent ready to fully assert itself in Holmer's practice, and while recent work is still highly reflective of Berlin's extraordinary energy, it's tempered by the artist's own, more meditative strengths and skills.

Holmer's increasingly measured production is all the better for greater introspection and less freneticism; in short, for becoming a little more Swedish.

Emil Holmer
Emil Holmer: Swedish contemporary art
Emil Holmer: contemporary Swedish artists
 

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