Brand New View (Vancouver), 2014
By Gunilla Klingberg
This is the first solo exhibition in Canada by Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg comprising two interrelated large-scale commissions.
Klingberg’s practice is characterized by the intersection of received knowledge, folk beliefs and popular culture. At the gallery and Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, murals of seemingly quasi-oriental pattern appear to evoke cosmic mandalas, transforming the individual spaces and enveloping the viewer in light and colour, shifting designs and reflections. We are seduced, immersed within the work rather than just looking at it. Her use of patterns and movement manipulates our seeing, influencing our state of consciousness and our sensory impressions, linking with Op Art and the psychedelic movement of the late sixties, appropriate touchstones in the recent history of the counter culture in this part of the world.
However, what at first glance appears to recall a certain set of values and moments in time has another dimension. If we look closely we see that the intricate ornamentation of symmetrically repeated symbols is made up of something more mainstream, corporate logos from Canadian and North American low cost stores. Concepts are intertwined: spirituality merges with everyday consumer culture. Klingberg suggests they are analogous, that both seem to promise the same thing: a state in which nothing is uncomfortable or threatening, the possibility of total, rapid satisfaction of our needs and desires, accessible to everyone. She evokes a spirit of community, or of communality, and poses questions regarding what it would be to have something in common.
Gunilla Klingberg lives and works in Stockholm and Berlin. Solo exhibitions include: Malmö Konsthall; Galerie Nordenhake Berlin; Rice Gallery, Houston; Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm; KIASMA Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki. He also has participated in several group exhibitions including Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane; Museo Tamayo Mexico City; 10th Istanbul Biennial; P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center/MoMA, New York; Venice Biennale; Tate Liverpool; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; New Delhi Triennale, India and Migros Museum, Zürich.
Presented by the Contemporary Art Gallery in partnership with the Canada Line Public Art Program – IntransitBC. Supported by Iaspis, the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s International Programme for Visual Artists.