GUNNEL WÅHLSTRAND [solo-exhibition] at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, June 24 – September 24, 2017
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen presents an extensive solo exhibition by Swedish artist Gunnel Wåhlstrand (b. 1974). Wåhlstrand creates extraordinary large-scale ink wash paintings featuring monumental landscapes, compelling portraits and serene interiors with intriguing compositions.
The point of departure for Wåhlstrand’s work was a box of family photographs—the only connection that she had to her father while growing up. To fill the silence surrounding his life and disappearance, she began to use these photographs: enlarging the image, delving into every detail and using her imagination to complete any information that is lacking or obscured. The large scale bestows upon both artist and viewer a heightened sense of presence—almost as if one could step into the image.
Each work takes months to complete, as the ink washes are applied in successive layers, gradually filling the white paper through a process that the artist likens to a slowly developing photograph. Embodied with an inherent level of suspense, Gunnel Wåhlstrand’s work transcends time as ordinary family snapshots are transformed into something more universal.
A richly illustrated book on Gunnel Wåhlstrand’s works was published in spring 2017, produced by Magasin III in collaboration with Art & Theory. The book includes texts by David Neuman, a conversation between Gunnel Wåhlstrand & Bronwyn Griffith and original essay by Lars Norén, one of Sweden’s most celebrated playwrights and authors.