November 16, 2014

Ann Edholm at Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin - Trotz

Ann Edholm: Trotz
Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin
November 15, 2014 - January 10, 2015

Galerie Nordenhake presents new and recent works by Ann Edholm from her latest body of work titled Trotz (In Spite of All). With an elaborate network of cultural, religious and symbolic references Ann Edholm meticulously merges classical painting with elemental geometric shapes and slight painterly gestures. The size of the canvases and the relationship between form, scale and colour in the compositions subtly define the meeting between viewer and painting.

Working in extended series Ann Edholm often stages large, occasionally even monumental, paintings that straddle both geometric abstraction and subtle expressionism. The latter reveals itself in barely perceptible details, such as small fingerprints or smear marks made by the brush or, more often, the palette knife, thus destabilising the seemingly solid compositional patterns of basic geometric shapes, simultaneously reminiscent of, for instance, the Russian Suprematist Kazimir Malevich and the American Abstract Expressionist Barnett Newman. Her latest paintings from Trotz connect to these sources as well as they point to profound layers of Expressionism in her oeuvre.

Looking at the “Trotz”-paintings art historian Tom Sandqvist emphasises the painter’s specific and decidedly non-abstract approach: „Ann Edholm has again and again fought against the conception of being an abstract painter. Now it’s obvious that her paintings are more than realistic, they are – indeed – painfully real confronting us with our own dark ugliness.”

The four large scale black and red paintings from the series Trotz entitled Oświęcim (2014) are based on the four famous photos taken inside Auschwitz–today’s Oświęcim–by prisoners in 1944, discussed by French philosopher and art historian Georges Didi-Huberman in his book Images malgré tout (2004). Of one and a half million surviving photos related to Nazi concentration camps, only four depict the actual process of mass killing perpetrated at the gas chambers. These images, taken clandestinely in spite of the ban of images by one of the Jewish prisoners forced to help carry out the atrocities, were made as a potent act of resistance. Ann Edholm’s paintings hereby also are an act of resistance, as they remind us not only of our own pain in realising who we really are, but also of our greatness when refusing to forget and why we make images in spite of all. Didi-Huberman’s relentless consideration of these harrowing scenes demonstrates how Holocaust testimony can shift from texts and imaginations to irrefutable images that attempt to speak the unspeakable. Indeed, Didi-Huberman puts the agenda already in his first sentence: ”In order to know, we must imagine for ourselves.”

ANN EDHOLM was born in Stockholm in 1953, and now lives and works in Nyköping, Sweden. Last year her site-specific commission for the ECOSOC Session Chamber at the United Nations headquarters in New York DIALOGOS was inaugurated. Ann Edholm has had solo exhibitions at Karlskrona Konsthall (2012), Millersgården (with Håkan Rehnberg) in Stockholm (2007), Göteborgs Konstmuseum (2003), and Uppsala Konstmuseum (2003) among others. In 2009 she participated in the Tirana Biennial, Albania. Her works have been exhibited in group exhibitions at abc - art Berlin Contemporary in Berlin (2011), Immanuel Kant State University in Kaliningrad (2006), IASPIS in Stockholm (1999), Rooseum in Malmö (1996 and 1992), Frankfurter Kunstverein in Frankfurt/Main (1995), Moderna Museet in Stockholm (1995 and 1991), and PS1 in New York (1988). In 2007 she was honoured with an award from the Landstinget Sörmlands artist fund and was awarded with the second price of the Carnegie Art Award 2012. She has been exhibiting with Galerie Nordenhake since 1994.

Lindenstrasse 34, 10969 Berlin