Galerie Max Hetzler is pleased to present WE WERE PATIENT, an exhibition of new paintings by Ida Ekblad in the gallery’s recently opened space in Mercatorhöfe, on Potsdamer Straße 77-87, in Berlin. It is the artist’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery and is focused on her painterly work.
Ida Ekblad is one of the most recognised Scandinavian artists working today. Her artistic practice focuses on painting and sculpture. Ekblad’s compositions are inspired by a multitude of sources. Art historical archives, digital archives, style archives, film and music archives are spliced with «involuntary memories» in an attempt to construct «a futurism of it all». Ekblad’s motifs are handled in a way that lets them become nearly abstract, hence following a long tradition to explore the nuances of how to perceive the world through the heightened lens of painting. It is a medium through which she can express complexities that exceeds what we can communicate through language. The best comparison for the shift that takes place in Ekblad’s work is probably poetry as it doesn’t try to depict things rationally but rather focuses on what happens between the lines. She considers her work titles to be poetry production.
For Galerie Max Hetzler’s space at Potsdamer Straße, Ida Ekblad has made a new suite of paintings. About this series she says:
Perhaps I’m trying to make the paintings look like my impulse to paint them. There’s a hounding drive in me to restructure unending input and turn it into visuals. Oil on canvas becomes a way not to understand, but to grasp, snatch or re-ignite a feeling of thin upon thick, rain on concrete buildings, drizzle over fuorescent light. Painting is a collagist medium that allows me to lay down a drum and a bass and go over it with pitched-up feminine pressure and coagulated shuffe-beats. It will all be glowing, crestfallen or acid-junglist. I will add fog, mist, rain and a video game. I will open slots with straight strokes. I will fill gaps with reverse strokes. There will be yawning holes stuffed with tar, asphalt and mineral pitch. And films covering this. Watery films. Films of dysphoria, films of cobalt violet light. Films like tears or varnish. Varnish like gloss or glossa. A difficult word and a simple word. I will gloze over the sap. My veneer of composure will crack a little. Hard facts will be liquifed. Sharp edges dulled. Cement thawed. There will be sedative hypnotics on top of sleep disorders. Afterglows behind robotic panzers. Distant vocals under lacquered hoods. A bulldozing of skeletal machinery. I will add more and add more. I will lean on some things until they are mollifed. I will badger other things until they peter out and vanish into thin air. The air will be electric. The air will be ionized. The air will be metha, gaba, theo, oxy, ephe. And there will be another painting.
Additionally to the exhibition at Potsdamer Straße the Window Gallery at Goethestraße 2/3, will display Ekblad’s sculpture Gold Bug Drift Sculpture (Tepito and Ecatepec), Amor, 2019.
Ida Ekblad (*1980, Oslo) lives and works in Oslo. The artist studied at the Oslo National Academy of the Arts (2007) and the Mountain School of Arts, Los Angeles, USA (2008). She participated in the Venice Biennale in 2011 and 2017. In recent years, her work has been exhibited internationally, including major solo exhibitions at the Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo (2021); Kunsthalle Zürich, Zurich and Museo Tamayo, Mexico City (2019); Kunstverein Braunschweig, Braunschweig (2018); Kunsthaus Hamburg, Hamburg (2017); The National Museum of Art, Design and Architecture, Oslo (2013); Bergen Kunsthall, Bergen and Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2010).
Ida Ekblad’s work is owned by a multitude of important public and private collections, including the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Centre Pompidou, Paris; KODE Art Museums and Composer Homes, Bergen; Astrup Fearnley Museum, Oslo; and The National Museum of Art, Design and Architecture, Oslo, among others.
This spring, Kunsthalle Zürich, in collaboration with Lenz, will publish a major monograph on Ekblad, including texts by Daniel Baumann, Martha Kirszenbaum, Agnes Moraux and Stian Grøgaard.