Overview

For many years, Wåhlstrand has worked exclusively with what could be described as a re-development of private photographs using ink-wash. This technique, that she masters to perfection, is a manner of painting where tonality and shading is achieved by varying the ink density, both the ink load and the pressure within a single brushstroke. Once a stroke is painted, it cannot be changed or erased. 

 

Her body of motives has previously consisted of images from her family photo album, and the close connection between life and art is intact when Wåhlstrand in her new works chooses to leave the earlier albums behind and focus on images she has taken herself.

 

Wåhlstrand’s depiction is a deeply personal process yet has a universally affecting presence.  The procedure of making this meticulously reconstructed documentation is painstakingly slow – the precise and demanding technique commands a very spare production and physically taxing. Wåhlstrand literally works on hands and knees, immersing herself in an image in order to see it, as a way for her to physically and psychologically approach a personal history or place.

 

Gunnel Wåhlstrand (born 1974) lives and works in Stockholm. She receievd her MFA from Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2003 with a much acclaimed graduation exhibition, and has since then developed an exceptional, albeit very spare, œuvre. Her most recent institutional solo-exhibition was at Göteborgs Konstmuseum in conjunction to the Sten A Olsson Cultural Scholarship (2019) and prior to that at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Magasin III Museum & Foundation for Contemporary Art, Stockholm, Sweden (both 2017).

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