Galleri Flach are proud to inaugurate the fall season with Julia Selin’s first solo exhibition at the gallery – Marken sviktar (Soft ground). It presents a series of paintings in both large and small format that allude to surroundings in nature, a theme the artist has explored since her studies at Umeå Art Academy.
Julia Selin’s work places itself in an abstract and expressive painterly tradition that has not been specifically prominent in contemporary art in recent years. The subject matter of the paintings have evolved from various natural phenomena such as the directions of a pouring rain, the sensation of moss underneath the feet or the reflections on the dark water surface. As a viewer one encounters paintings that are full of intensity and balance, and in which there is an interesting interference between structures and layers of dark earthy colours and a light that shines through. After a moment’s contemplation of the abstract composition, different themes appear reminiscent of Nordic primeval forests and swamps. The paintings express a sensual experience in which the beholder can almost sense the smell of the moist and fragrant biotope.
The exhibition is also based on a notion of the painting as a site-specific location. The canvas becomes the physical area in which the picture – the environment – appears. During the working process the artist places the canvas on the floor and paints with her entire body in motion. She is sitting, standing and walking in the painting, which sometimes leaves trails. In her works one can clearly perceive this interplay between the physical movement and the placement of the colours on the canvas. But the artist also has a fascination for the surface of the painting in relation to an underlying depth. The artist herself mentions how she perceives marshes where the crust is not so dense and instead becomes a gap into the subterranean. Behind the surface of the canvas one can almost imagine how something is welling forth, which is particularly prominent in the smaller and denser paintings. While the larger works express a sort of openness and transparency in the room, the smaller paintings have a different and more mysterious character; as enigmatic faces gazing back at the viewer.
Eva-Lotta Holm Flach
Julia Selin graduated from Umeå konsthögskola 2013 and participated in the group exhibition ”Döden som sover (Death sleeping) ” at Galleri Flach 2013 (curator Carl Fredrik Hårleman)