In Kristina Bength’s detailed paintings, photography has long been a central point of departure. She has been interested in the importance of photography in shaping ideas about different identities, roles and institutions. With photographic images as a model, she has created fascinating installations in which she, through painterly processes, depicts spaces and architectural environments, filled with stories and memories. In recent years, however, there has been a shift towards exploring texts and literary descriptions, which in a similar way turn into spatial installations through varying pictorial and narrative perspectives. In the exhibition Punctuated Spectra [in Parallel]the artist presents an installation that includes many of her different artistic themes and strategies.
A first version of the work was shown in the group exhibition “Unfold a Place”, curated by Sara Rossling, at the Ottilia Adelborg Museum in Gagnef in the summer of 2018. As in previous exhibitions, Kristina Bength created an installation of paintings hanging in wires, this time in parallel rows so that a corridor was formed. Each painting was perforated by a small peephole, through which the viewer could see the motif in the painting on the opposite side, as a twofold perspective. The composition of the work also has a connection to the museum’s founder Ottilia Adelborg (1855–1936) and to the Swedish artist Maria Nordin. In both cases, there is a dialogue about the mechanisms of creativity and how a new, freestanding subject emerges during these processes. In the works Punctuated Spectra [in Parallel]for example, Maria Nordin gave color instructions to some of Kristina Bength’s paintings, whose motifs are taken from archives and storages for stage design. The collaboration between the artists already began within the project and the group exhibition “Thinking Through Painting” (2014). Together they created paintings by sending them back and forth to each other, as if emerging a kind of third subject.
The installation that is now on display at Gallery Flach origins from works that were shown in Gagnef. Seen from the outside, a double perspective is possible, while viewers who are on the inside of the installation are surrounded by a defining space of individual perspectives. The motifs alternate, and the function of the painting varies between being both an image and an optical instrument. The viewer is centered on his or her own perception and can, kaleidoscopically, compose an independent story. Surrounded by the paintings and a variety of perspectives, Kristina Bength emphasizes a form of ”perspectivism” as she leads the viewer among images and spaces of memories and fantasies, as a literature that has just left the order of the text.
Kristina Bength lives and works in Stockholm. She is educated at the Gerlesborg School in Bohuslän, Valand Academy, Gothenburg and The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. She has had solo exhibitions at Galleri Flach in Stockholm, LM D gallery in Paris, Ahlbergshallen in Östersund, Ebelingmuseum in Eskilstuna, Kiruna City Hall and KonsthallenTrollhättan. She has exhibited in group-exhibitions at Uppsala Art Museum, Gävle Art Center and Hangmen Projects in Stockholm and participated in solo shows at Volta 13 in New York, Le Salon du Dessin Contemporain in Paris and Market Art Fair in Stockholm 2017. She has received one and two – yearly scholarship and project grant from the Swedish Arts Grants Commitee, the County Council of Dalarnas Kulturstipendium, Kirunastipendium, Byggnads Kulturstipendium, Axel Theofron Sandberg’s watercolor scholarship from The Royal Academy of the Arts, and Marianne and Sigvard Bernadotte’s Artists’ Fund scholarship.