On the occasion of Gallery Weekend Berlin, carlier | gebauer presents a solo exhibition by the Swedish artist Cecilia Edefalk. This is the artist’s first exhibition with the gallery.
One of Sweden’s most celebrated artists, Edefalk’s intuitive and deeply personal practice often draws from things that she encounters in her everyday life—whether a field of dandelions, a novel, or memories of visiting a church in Italy. Edefalk’s approach fuses the intimate and the analytical. Her choice of topics often emerges from a rigorous, uncanny intuition that she hones to undertake serial explorations of a single motif, experimenting with duplication, scale, and installation. Edefalk views repetition as a means to express different ideas. She isolates transitory moments of perception, multiplying and dividing the forms that emerge from them, to create visionary meditations on nature, the mutability of time, and natural cycles of growth and decay.
For the eight White Within angel, Edefalk presents painting, sculpture, and video from the 1990s until today. Although the works on view will span over twenty years, the exhibition is not conceived as a retrospective, but instead a reflection of the artist’s working process. As Daniel Birnbaum notes, “[Edefalk’s] itinerary, characterized by delays, detours, and temporal loops, is far removed from the expectations of the media or the art market. She works in slow motion […] her paintings rely upon the considerable time span that separates them. A painting by Edefalk is a rare thing, and the scarcity of the output seems intrinsic to her way of working”. The show’s title refers to a series of eight large-scale paintings that form the core of the exhibition, which the artist began in 1997 after an encounter with the early renaissance sculpture The Annunciation Angel at the San Gimignano Museum. Edefalk’s formative experience with this life-sized, painted wooden sculpture prompted a shift in her work. She abandoned her practice of using photographs as a starting point for her paintings and began to rely on her own experiences as the catalyst for the imagery her work depicts. Painted at a scale that relates to the human body, Edefalk’s serial investigation of these celestial bodies transforms the spiritual encounter that she had at the San Gimignano Museum into a direct physical encounter between the artist and material. The seven White Within paintings coalesce into a final work painted in 2018 entitled The Eight. This new work completes the series, which will be exhibited together for the first time, since Edefalk started working on it twenty years ago. Each White Within is made anew, painted one on top of the other and merging into a new singular form that compresses time into multiple, co-existing strata of memory and affect.
Cecilia Edefalk (b.1955, Norrköping) lives and works in Stockholm. Her work received a major retrospective in 2016 at Prins Eugens Waldmarsudde, Stockholm. Edefalk has had numerous one person museum exhibitions at Moderna Museet, Stockholm; BAMPFA, Berkeley Art Museum; Crystal Palace, Stockholm; Parasol unit, London; The Art Institute of Chicago; Malmö Konstmuseum; Lunds Konsthall, Sweden; Kunsthalle Kiel, Germany; and Kunsthalle Bern. Her work has appeared in many group shows at various international venues including at Documenta 11, Kassel; the 22nd São Paolo Biennial; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford; Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt; CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco; and Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris.