Wadström Tönnheim Gallery proudly presents its second solo exhibition with the established and prominent Swedish artist Anders Kappel. This is Mr. Kappels first exhibition in Spain since he was exhibited at ARCO in the late eighties, and Anders long and impressive CV speaks for itself. Vernissage is open for all and everyone on Saturday the 28th of May between 18.30-21.30h.
The mission Anders Kappel assigned himself was to paint 100 signs in 100 days. In most cases, the motif consists of a name or a word with a light background. Others include abstract forms, color fields, or lines. When we meet at the old farmhouse in Skräddaröd, an isolated corner of Österlen among horse paddocks, apple groves and rolling fields, signs fill the studio. All of them are painted on two-centimeter-thick, birch or pine plywood, cut into rectangles slightly smaller than an A4 sheet of paper — a practical and reader-friendly format. But the project is not as easy to grasp as one might at first think. At close range, the paintings appear worn and tattered, as though having been used over a longer period of time. The surface, that appears white from a distance, is streaked with the grain of the wood underneath, yellowed or marked in places with darker or more brightly colored pigments. Traces and shadows of underlying layers of paint, places or experiences penetrate forth. Fragments of that which has been forgotten, hidden or suppressed over the years. Piled on top of each other, the signs are reminiscent of books, as though the painting itself was just the outer skin of that which lies within. Seen as a whole, they coalesce into a White Book of sorts over the past and present.
”It’s all about wrapping things up and looking back. Of including both the good and bad experiences”, says Anders Kappel. It is tempting to read these paintings as a map, a journal or autobiography. Despite their down-to-earth appearance, these are possibly among Kappel’s most personal works. With his brush, he draws the contours of trademarks, administrative authorities and public transport companies, the logos of which are rendered in minute detail. They indicate locations, occasions, encounters and needs. Moments of failure and success, bureaucracy and travel, happiness and pain. Here we have Aspirin, public employment services, the bailiff, etc. But also German airports and beer brands, Russian airlines and American art magazines. Boulevard Raspail is painted with the characteristic font of the Parisian street network, and bears hints of visits to the museums of the metropolis back in his school years. At the same time, he inserts traces of artists that have been important to him, among others, the Russian constructivist El Lissitzky. Rectangles and diagonals, silhouettes of masts and lookout towers — everything becomes a part of Kappel’s own pictorial idiom. It is clear, however, that these signs are not only connected to the artist’s personal life. Do not be fooled by their seemingly neutral appearance. Despite, or perhaps thanks to, the fact that they make use of the established symbols and imagery of the public space and financial markets, they strike different chords and give rise to different associations in every individual viewer. The fact that the logos are hand painted might perhaps dampen their official appearance, but in no way lessens the effect. There is, on the contrary, something disarming to the uneven edges and traces of brushstrokes that causes one to lower one’s guard.
One can easily view these signs in relation to an art historical tradition. During the 1960s, American pop artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein and James Rosenquist incorporated advertising and popular culture into their paintings, silk-screens, collages and assemblages when commenting on the growing consumer society of the post-war era. Several of them had a background in fields of graphic design and marketing, the ideology and aesthetics of which they related to with a combination of admiration and critique. Even a Swedish pop artist such as Öyvind Fahlström experimented with well-known brand names, logotypes, and both current and historical courses of events in his works. With his signs, board games, and paintings, he playfully and subversively suggests various strategies to destabilize the established order of things.
Anders Kappel meticulously examines ideas and words, even when he speaks. Here, the idea of the artist as an analyst of the demands that life places upon us comes into play. It is all about formulating the essence, of boiling it down to one word, one surface, that, in itself, accommodates all other words and surfaces. Hanging on a wall in his studio is a row of rulers, tools and one final sign. A familiar vignette, known from countless cinema salons emerges against its matt, shimmering copper surface.
But once again, our expectations are upended. The surface upon which the vignette is painted bears the shape of a torn off film strip that continues even after the final word marks its end. Kappel’s urge to create signs will surely not end here. To be continued…
This is an extract from the essay “Anders Kappel and the Art of Creating Meaning From Ambiguity” about Kappels work written by the Swedish critic and art historian Caroline Söderholm.
Anders Kappel, born 1956 in Hasslö/Karlskrona (south of Sweden). He now lives and work in the village Skräddaröd outside of Simrishamn in Österlen Sweden. Educated at Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Stockholm 1982-87 and at Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin 1988-89. See full CV below.
For more information and press photos contact: Mattias Tönnheim +46 704-411914 or email@example.com
Address and opening hours: Poligono Nueva Campana, Local 37B, Nueva Andalucia (Marbella). The exhibitions opens Saturday the 28th of May between 18.30-21.30h and goes on until the 25 of September 2022. The gallery is open Monday – Friday at 14.00-18.00. And we are open any day by appointment.
Wadström Tönnheim Gallery’s mission is to examine the idea of the painterly, be it also through related media such as photography, sculpture, installations, video and drawing, in order to understand and to promote the direction of painting and its relevance to contemporary visual culture. WTG is owned and operated by Mattias Tönnheim & Andreas Åkesson. www.wadstromtonheim.se
Moderna Museet, Stockholm
The National Public Art Council, Stockholm
Malmö Art Museum
Gothenburg Museum of Art
Norrköping Art Museum
Linköping Art Museum
Kalmar Art Museum
Blekinge Museum, Karlskrona
Skissernas Muséum, Lund
Sammlung Grünke, Germany
NUNSKU Artist Studio Program, Berlin
Edstrandska Stiftelsen Art Prize
Lengertz Art Prize
Bror Ljunggrens Memorial Fund
Malmö Municipality Culture Grant
Ellen Trotzig Scolarship
Richard Björklund Scolarship
Karlkrona Kommun Culture Grant
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2022 Wadström Tönnheim Gallery, Marbella Spain
2021 Galleri Bergdala, Växjö
2019 Galleri 21, Malmö
2018 ”Gaskets” Konsthallen Hishult
2017, Galleri Bergdala, Växjö
2015 “Surveillance”, Wadström Tönnheim Gallery, Skanör
2014 “Cross Sectional Images”, Galerie Leger, Malmö
2013 APA Gallery, Stockholm
2012 Showroom, Simrishamn
2011 Karlskrona Konsthall
2010 Konsthallen Hishult
2010 Björkholmen Gallery, Stockholm
2007 Björkholmen Gallery, Stockholm
2007 Konsthallen Kristianstad
2004 Björkholmen Gallery, Stockholm
2004 Galerie Hartwich, Germany
2004 Konsthallen Hishult
2001 Galleri Andersson Sandström, Umeå
2000 Galleri Hartwich, Germany
1996 Malmö Konsthall, Mellanrummet
1995 Ronneby Kulturcentrum
1995 Konsthallen Hishult
1993 Olle Olsson-huset, Hagalund
1993 Galleri Fahl, Stockholm
1990 Periscope Stockholm
1989 Galleri Sten Eriksson, Stockholm
1989 Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin
1988 Galleri Bengt Adlers, Malmö
1987 Galleri Bernhardsson, Malmö
1986 Galleri Gunnar Olsson, Stockholm
1984 Galleri Erichs, Malmö
Selected Group Exhibitions
2020 Marbella Art Fair, Wadström Tönnheim Gallery, Marbella/Spain
2020, 2021 “Septemberutställningen” Galleri Wallner, Simris
2020 “Art Walk” Tjörnedala Konsthall
2018 ”From Sweden With Love”, Wadström Tönnheim Gallery, Marbella/Spain
2017 “Crossing Borders” Tjörnedala Konsthall, Baskemölla
2017 “Secondhand Daylight”, Skjul Fyra Sex, Gothenburg
2017 “Grafikbiennal” Brösarps Konsthall
2017 “Secondhand Daylight” Kummelholmen Konsthall, Stockholm
2017 ”SURF”, Garlerie Hartwich, Germany
2017 “Polyfoni 4″ Galleri Wallner, Simris
2016 “The Gallery Collection”, Gallery Wadström Tönnheim, Skanör
2015 Brösarps Konsthall
2015 APA Gallery, Stockholm
2014 “Restaurering av inre rum”, Charlottenburgs gård, Solna
2014 Tjörnedala Konsthall, Baskemölla Sweden
2013 ”Ostrale”, Dresden, Germany
2013 “Black Box” Konsthallen Hishult, Sweden
2013 ”Polyfoni 1” Galleri Wallner, Sweden
2012 ”Power” Västerås Konstmuseum, Sweden
2009 ”Touristen” Galerie Hartwich, Germany
2007 “AlteFreunde-Neue Freunde” Galerie Hartwich, Germany
2008 “By Light” Malmö
2006 “Klimat” Passagen Linköping
2005 “Zum Wasser-Ins Licht”, Wismar, German
2005 Art CPH Copenhagen (Björkholmen Gallery)
2004 “Seeblicke 2″ Sellin, Germany
2001 “Shifte” Malmö Konstmuseum
2000-01 “Oskuldens Århundrade” Rooseum och Liljevalchs Konsthall, Sweden
1999 “Contemporary Art of Southern Sweden” Pusan Metropolitan Art Museum, South Korea
1999 “Edstrandska stiftelsens stipendiater” Rooseum
1992 “The Contemporary Art” in Sweden, Fukui; Iwaki; Gunma; Kumamoto; Tokushima Kamakura Museum, Japan1991
1992 ”36 Contemporary Swedish Artists”, Royal College of Art, London
1991 “80 Zwischen 90″, Kampnagelfabrik, Hamburg
1990 ”Sommeratelier” Deutsche Messe, Hannover
1990 “Samtiden i en spegel”, Moderna Museet, Stockholm
1990 “Nordic Art Exhibition”, Charlottenborg Copenhagen
1988 ARCO Madrid, Wetterling Gallery
1988 Frankfurt Art Fair, Galleri Bengt Adlers
1987 “Sydnytt” Malmö Konsthall
1987 Galleri Wetterling, Stockholm
1982 “Ungt måleri i Skåne”, Galleri Nordqvist Malmö
1981 “Unga tecknare” Nationalmuseum Stockholm
Danderyds Sjukhus, Stockholm
Stadt Wismar, Germany.
Stockholm Konst, Beckomberga skola.
Solna stad, Charlottenburgs gård.
Stockholm University, Geo-huset Frescati.
Medicon Village Lund.
Södersjukhusets entré Stockholm.
University of Gothenburg, Journalistik och Media.
Lyckeby Kunskapscentrum, Karlskrona.
Jonebergs Torg, Simrishamn.