Parasol unit Opens Time and Memory Cecilia Edefalk & Gunnel Wahlstrand

The exhibition Time and Memory brings together two contemporary Swedish artists, Cecilia Edefalk and Gunnel Wåhlstrand, whose works have never before been shown in a London institution.

From the late 1980s, both at home and abroad, Cecilia Edefalk has been considered one of Sweden’s leading artists. Since Gunnel Wåhlstrand’s acclaimed graduation show at the Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm, in 2003, her work has featured in numerous exhibitions across Europe and overseas.

Gunnel Wåhlstrand, “By the Window,” 2003–2004. Ink-wash on paper 151 x 198 cm. The Michael Storåkers Collection. Photograph Björn Larsson

Cecilia Edefalk’s paintings emerge as a network of repetitions, reproductions and historical memory. Often reflecting her own process-oriented practice, Edefalk’s scenarios carve out haunting exchanges between past and present, in which unexpected connections unfold with sudden clarity. Often painted in series, Edefalk’s paintings allude to and intensify one another. This relational nature of the artist’s work has required the physical installation of her paintings in an exhibition space to become an integral part of her methodology and practice. She uses mirror effects, displays paintings at 90-degree angles and turns canvasses upside-down to establish a carefully choreographed arrangement for viewing. The interaction between the works lends a quality of performance to her exhibitions.

Among Edefalk’s solo exhibitions are: Cecilia Edefalk, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden, 1999; and Focus: Cecilia Edefalk, Art Institute, Chicago, USA, 2006.

Cecilia Edefalk (1954–) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

Memory is at the core of Gunnel Wåhlstrand’s work as well. The artist’s photo-realistic black-ink drawings are a deeply private and meticulously reconstructed documentation of her personal history. Having shown a series of large-scale ink drawings that re-created photographs from her father’s early childhood in her 2003 graduation exhibition at the Royal University College of Fine Arts in Stockholm, Wåhlstrand continues to investigate other motifs from her family photograph albums. The precise and demanding work of depicting these documents allows the artist to physically and psychologically approach a personal history that she did not experience, yet is living its consequences. Wåhlstrand’s father died when she was one year old. ‘Mainly, I see photographs as a proof of existence,’ she explains. As photographs these images are not particularly revealing, but as imposing monochromatic drawings they gain a newfound immediacy, importance and haunting resonance.

Wåhlstrand’s recent exhibitions include: Nordic-by-New York, ASF Scandinavia House, New York, USA, 2011; Gunnel Wåhlstrand, Andréhn-Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden, 2009; and Gunnel Wåhlstrand: Paintings from the Collection, Magasin 3, Stockholm, Sweden, 2006.

Gunnel Wåhlstrand (1974–) lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.

The exhibition is kindly supported by:
Pontus Bonnier, Stockholm; Caroline and Per Landin;
The Swedish Embassy

Related events:
Thursday 12 January 2012, 7pm (drinks from 6:30pm)
Intercapillary Places: Poetry at Parasol unit
A short talk on historical changes in the social construction of time, followed by a collaborative music/poetry performance centred on repetition and clocks. Intercapillary Places is a collaboration between Parasol unit and poets Edmund Hardy and Felicity Roberts comprising a series of poetry events at Parasol unit. Thinking through radical forms of politics and philosophy, and combining critical talks with poetry performances the events aim to open up a new and interdisciplinary space for radical thought within, around and about poetry.

Wednesday 1 February 2012, 7pm
Edefalk’s and Wåhlstrand’s Memory Work: A talk by Astrid Schmetterling
Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, Astrid Schmetterling will draw on her current research into the relation between history, culture and memory in order to explore the ways in which remembrance is performed and interrogated in the work of Cecilia Edefalk and Gunnel Wåhlstrand. Schmetterling’s interests include issues of memory and trauma, postcolonialism and cultural globalisation, as well as modern German cultural history. Most recently, she published essays on Else Lasker-Schüler and Ulrike Grossarth. £5/£4 concessions

About Parasol unit:
Founded in December 2004, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art is a registered educational charity in England and Wales and a not-for-profit institution that operates purely for the public benefit. Every year the foundation organises four thought-provoking exhibitions of works in various media by contemporary artists, and also sets up a variety of other artistic projects. Each exhibition is accompanied by a publication and related educational events. The foundation does not bear the founder’s name, and its exhibitions are not derived from the founder’s collection. Admission to exhibitions is free of charge.

Parasol unit operates like publicly funded institutions in London. Currently about 60% of the funding is provided by the founder and 40% through Gift Aid, charitable organisations, private donations and the sale of merchandise. The exhibition space has been put at the disposal of the foundation free of charge by the founder. Thanks to this new model between private funding and public support one of London’s most vibrant contemporary art spaces has come to exist.

Parasol unit
14 Wharf Road
London N1 7RW
Gallery opening hours
Monday: by prior arrangement
Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Sunday, 12–5 p.m.
Admission: Free
T +44 207 490 7373
F + 44 207 490 7775
[email protected]

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