Group Exhibitions, "After Work"

Umeå, November 24 - December 16, 2011

Images from the exhibition

The ordinary meets the spectacular. That is the theme presented around our newest exhibition, “After Work”. The exhibition's recurring motif is our most iconic piece of furniture – the chair. In the gallery space, several of the artists whom we continually work with are brought together. The core artworks represented here are created by Elina Brotherus, Kari Cavén, Tony Cragg, Anette H. Flensburg, Sean Henry, Meta Isæus-Berlin, Helena Piippo-Larsson, Mikael Richter, Nina Saunders, Gabi Trinkaus and Atte Öhrnell.

The concept “After Work” summarizes different associations to the meaning of the chair or to the act of sitting down. It may be a creative stillness, contemplation, or relaxation after a job well done. It may also refer to the studio work of the artist, and to the result of it, which we experience in this very exhibition. Here, the creative struggle is completed and the art has taken on a life of its own. We have chosen to present artists who have treated the chair in highly personal ways. We are showing Michael Richter's chair with a bright halo, linked to his benches "Charging Site for Light Heads", which are permanently placed at Operaplan here in Umeå. In the paintings of Anette H. Flensburg, the chair becomes a touchstone of dimension and human representation, in a room which otherwise feels isolated and alien.

In a series of paintings by Atte Öhrnell, the aesthetics of sitting furniture are examined from a spatial and painterly perspective. You will also find Sean Henry’s realistic bronze figure, Man on a Stool.  The seated man, which is the only seated figure in the whole exhibition, seems to be in a profound state of deep reflection. Meta-Isæus Berlin's metaphysically charged paintings show the chair as dream symbol, and perhaps it is as a narrative object that the chair has its foremost artistic potency. An office chair, a movie chair, or a throne, can for example convey many ideas about its occupant. Status, history, the narrative of life, and fantasy are materialized very effectively in this single object.

Welcome to an exhibition which brings together many of the artistic expressions that define our gallery. Diverse techniques, such as photography, sculpture, prints, and paintings, intermingle in this production. The exhibition contains gravity and humor, the Swedish and the international, the specific and boundless. “After Work” encapsulates the vastness of art in the depiction of one of our most prosaic objects – the chair.


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