Composing Reality Erla Haraldsdóttir
Isn’t painting the art form with the least rules or restrictions remaining? One can choose to paint
pictures of the real or the imaginary, to paint abstract shapes or not even shapes, to paint those
for their own sake or merely as a means to explore process or materiality, relationship or
meaning, or simply paint itself. Or not even paint, but instead use the entire gravitational mass
of everything said and done within painting as a counterweight of reference – to pull something
out of or bounce against, and thus try to contribute to the discourse. One can paint deadserious,
whimsical, cynical or with compassion, and achieve equally grand or unsuccessful
positions. One can give up on painting since everything is already done, or throw oneself fully
into it, since the sea of possibilities is vaster in painting than anywhere else.
Pontus Raud, Visibility in a relationship, 2018, oil pastel on paper, each paper 40x30cm.
Composing Reality places four very different but equally confident painters in a room of
opportunity and risk, balancing and bouncing off each other, and offering you as a visitor the
chance to compare and consider, either by looking straight at their paintings, or at how they
reflect in the painterly style of the others. All four stem from Sweden or have been heavily
invested in that country, but have gathered their educations and inspirations from all over the art
Erla S. Haraldsdóttir is a prolific Icelandic painter, who taught at the Umeå Academy and
has exhibited widely in Sweden. To overcome the problem of endless choice in painting, she
often works according to rules freely taken from friends or colleagues. These restraints liberate
her from having to get stuck in the grand questions of what is meaningful to paint, and instead
spurs her on to engage in the physical activity itself.
Pontus Raud paints to explore the implications of viewing the world as a causal arena,
where things make sense. If we are to believe that there is any necessity to the things happening
around us, we must also assume a meaningful self, and a world full of measurable differences
with inumerable relationships. This creative force of separation can be clearly seen in his latest
series of small oil pastels, where the same motif is often repeated with variation, emphasising the
relationships within the subject.
In Maria Högbackes paintings, the sensory and perception is recurring material. She has
a fascination with colour and its link to emotions and memory. Her image making is concerned
with language and communication, intertwined with itself and the external.
The raw, almost primitive seeming abstract paintings of Emil Holmer are the
meticulously planned result of drawn and collaged studies. As a painter, he is highly aware of
composition, and uses his recurring elements and forms in a very knowing way. He uses
mechanical tools like copy machines and silkscreen in order to find the necessary distance to let
the paintings happen without forcing a form on them. His work is about painting in a
postmodern age, but taking off at the concept of abstraction.
Composing Reality is part of a series of exhibitions
mapping the self-organized art scene in Sweden. It is
curated by Tobias Sternberg, a Swedish artist living
in Berlin and one of the founding members of
HilbertRaum, a non-profit gallery run entirely by
Composing Reality is open Friday 23rd November to
Sunday 2nd December 2018 in
Reuterstrasse 31, 12047 Berlin-Neukölln.
Opening Reception Friday 23rd Nov 18.00-22.00
Erla S. Haraldsdóttir, Binary Solarsystem (Fourth day), 2017, oil on linen, 120 x 70cm.