Galleri Flach has the great pleasure of presenting a series of recent paintings by Jan Svenungsson.
With his title – The Secret Paintings – Jan Svenungsson alludes to an artistic process that he has pursued in the privacy of his own studio. Over a couple of years, a new painterly approach has unfolded, and this is the first time it is presented in an exhibition. Based on his drawings of chimneys, which have long been one of Svenungsson’s key motifs, a new attitude and way of representing the subject matter has emerged. The focus now is on colours and uncovered surfaces, unexplored spaces and constellations of shapes.
Jan Svenungsson’s oeuvre is rich and complex. It has perpetually revolved around an underlying quest to turn things on their head, in a surrealist spirit. His constant and by now famous companion, the chimney, has appeared all over the world, in the most disparate contexts. It is an unexpected and bewildering intervention in an otherwise predictable structure. Svenungsson’s artistic output is also informed by an interest in the impact of coincidence and chance. In extensive serial paintings of maps and blood stains, he has explored random factors that arise and alter the aim and route of the contents. He builds systems whose inherent logic scrutinises these warps and alterations.
Svenungsson’s recent series of works, however, are informed by a different, freer direction – a new road that he himself describes as opening up towards a receptive and untried process. This is a painterly approach that evolves on its own terms. The paintings are presented without safety nets, paradigms or associated theories. Their interpretation, as always, is an afterthought.
In 2013 Jan Svenungsson has participated in the exhibitions ”Anonymous”, Brandenburgischer Kunstverein in Potsdam; ”Back to Earth – Rediscovering Ceramics in Art”, Herbert Gerisch-Stiftung in Neumünster; ”Skulptur im Städel Garten”, Städel Museum in Frankfurt, ”Mind the Gap”, MUMUTH in Graz. In the exhibiton ”Between Realities – Photography in Sweden 1970-1980” (Hasselblad Foundation, Feb 8 – May 11, 2014) Svenungsson is represented with six works from the series ”Stockholm” in collaboration with Ola Billgren 1991.
Jan Svenungsson is a professor at Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien since 2011.