Galleri Flach proudly presents Henrik Samuelsson’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, entitled “Ashes”. As the title indicates, the exhibition relates to ideas regarding transience and to a state of mind of silence and calm – an extension of quietude in time and space.
The architecture and formal composition of the paintings generate a strong sense of presence in the exhibition, emphasised by an underlying structure of vertical and horizontal lines. Their interaction creates a space that surrounds and captivates the viewer. The paintings deal not only with shifting perspectives, but also with the inner light that emerges in the subtle gradation of colour, as in a painting by Piero della Francesca. In the grand architecture of the images, one can also detect an underlying form reminiscent of a cross. Its purpose, however, is not to demonstrate the religious idea of a divine presence, but to create a framework, a spatiality, permeated by silence and contemplation.
In the paintings “Ashes” and “Core”, the pictorial idiom is refined to archaic sceneries void of people. They contain no unexpected elements or figurative narratives. Instead, they constitute a refugium – a refuge – for the concentrated gaze of quiet contemplation. The eye follows the perspective towards the sky or a dark square of eternity.
The exhibition also reveals a substantial sense of presence in situ, in place. In the paintings “Dusk Box” and “Sooty Void”, the imagery opens towards a wooded area; a northern terrain that frequently recurs in the works of Henrik Samuelsson. Through the window, and framed by the modernist architecture, a landscape emerges with a house at the edge of a forest that recalls a sense of familiarity, a place to return to. Everything there is seemingly still, yet in constant flux. Matter does not disappear, it just transitions from one state to another.
Henrik Samuelsson has been since his last exhibition at Galleri Flach 2013 including Cool shown at Galerie Laurent Godin, Paris (2014) and participated in the group exhibition Les Esthetique’s d’un monde désenchanté at the Centre d’Art Contemporain, Meymac, France (2014). He has also been represented at the fairs Market Art Fair, Art Geneva and Art Cologne.