The Swedish-Danish visual artist Leonard Forslund creates his own set of rules every time he puts brush to canvas. The result is at once formal, austere and enticing. Instead of honouring the art market’s expectations of yet another ‘Forslund,’ the Skåne-born artist has chosen to follow the ever-changing agendas of his own painting, as he has done for nearly the past three decades at exhibits here in Sweden and in Denmark, producing original and, at times, extremely beautiful works.
As a researcher who constatly tests the validity of his hypotheses, he challenges painting as an artform. Many of his works are “painting-installations” that relate to the dimensions, atmosphere and colours of the spaces in which they are displayed. This was clearly demonstrated through his impressive, and spacially intriguing exhibit, “you, us, them, I” (Lunds Konsthall in 2003) in which he gave the walls and corners of the art gallery some inexplicable and often humourous additions. In doing so, the walls gained a voice, so to speak, and painting as a concept gained some new physical and visual dimensions.
Forslund is the painting world’s answer to the “poets of the system” who tend to set up new rules through which to write their way to some unnoted and unnoticed corners of language and reality. He attended Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, in the 1980s — an era he is still influenced by in terms of postmodernist theories that said goodbye to larger narratives and melodramatic tendancies in art in favour of a cooler and philosophical approach. As a result, he still rejects art that merely “churns itself out” and becomes nothing more than a screen on which the creator may project his personal whims and inner demons.
Forslund is a conceptual artist, a minimalist and a romantic all at once, “for it does no harm if it is ‘beautiful’ but one should also perferably have something to think about inside that beauty,” as the artist says in his unmistakable Scania-influenced Danish. He uses surgical precision and a frequent use of silhouettes of shapes and figures, taken from the vast metaphorical storeroom of art history, rationally creating dreamlike images that nevertheless manage to speak to the viewer’s irrational sides.
Lisbeth Bonde, Danish Art Critic and Journalist
Enklav / Bombfabriken
Enklav / Antikristkyrka
Copyright © 2007 Galleri Thomas Wallner.
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