StockholmKent Iwemyr: New Masterpieces
Galleri Magnus Karlsson presents Kent Iwemyr’s seventh solo exhibition at the gallery.
New Masterpieces consists of a series of acrylic paintings executed during the last year. Kent Iwemyr has, among other things, been called ”A Strange Bird in Contemporary Art” and ”A Swedish Rural Chagall”. His paintings draws content from life in the small industrial community Hallstammar in Sweden, but has been shown at galleries all over the world. Despite the down to earth storytelling, his imagery can be conceived as rare and exotic also on the home ground.
Iwemyr’s painting captures, in rapid, rough brushstrokes, an existence in the Swedish periphery, where the workplaces have long since been closed down and most of the residents have moved out. There are more or less wind-driven existences that still managed to shape a life with completely different conditions. The situations are screwed to the max, joy mixed with sadness, despair with a stubborn and proud will to go their own way regardless of what others may think. Above all, a dreamy atmosphere rests that makes solid structures such as trees and buildings sway and want to ease from the ground. Iwemyr appears more and more like the Swedish rural Chagall, he portrays with a poetic touch a lost world where the shrines and reality cannot be separated from each other.
From a review by Anders Olofssons of the exhibition The Vintage Show on Konsten.net, October 2013.
The long-drawn-back look at Swedish art history, combined with a tantalizing and almost obsolete aesthetic level, leads to artistic swaps of the more spectacular kind. And therein is also part of the challenge for the exhibition visitors. The defense walls of prejudice must fall in order for space to be prepared for this strange bird in contemporary art.
From a review by Leif Mattssons of the exhibition The Vintage Show at Omkonst, October 2013.
The heart of Kent Iwemyr’s pictorial world is a Place in Bergslagen. Iron mill country, covering only a few square metric miles. The tilthammer is silent now. And the melting pot is transforming. But the earth still breathes timeless memories and stories. A fizzing, multifarious brew of tradition and opposition.
This is a small Place for big dreams. The people circle around the existential base line. Headstrong, proud, often solitary, slightly chipped and ponderous. But nevertheless on their way, with the dream sail hoisted, albeit slightly askew, at full speed.
From the catalogue text A Love Song to the Ramshackle by Annika Nordin 2013.
At first, the imagery is simple and sweeping but upon further inspection, they are closer to your reality than you had anticipated. Iwemyr through instilling his own familiar approachability into each scene is able to transform absurdity into normality and normality into absurdity. His paintings shine a light on the remarkable beauty inherent to the subtle idiosyncrasies of every day life.
From Marie Nyquist’s text for the exhibition The Red House in the Woods at Anna Zorina Gallery, New York 2018
Kent Iwemyr’s painterly style is subliminal minimal. Two dots and two lines is a face filled with expression. His compositions balance on the verge of the naïve in the most positive sense of the term. Figurative gestures that transcends time and trends and taps into a common human consciousness. Iwemyr’s paintings trigger our curiosity and imagination.
From the press release for the exhibition Poetry From the Wilds at V1 Gallery in Copenhagen 2018.
Kent Iwemyr made his debut with an exhibition at Galleri Magnus Karlsson in Västerås (100 km west of Stockholm) in 1992. He was then 48 years old and had mostly been working as an art teacher after his studies at University College of Arts. He returned to the imagery he had as a teenager and set out to tell the story about people close to him. He has since then exhibited regularly in Sweden and internationally. Selected solo exhibitions: Anna Zorina Gallery, New York, US (2018), V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (2018), Galerie Claire Fontaine, Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2017, 2006), Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm, Sweden (2016, 2013, 2002, 2000, 1998) Västerås Konstmuseum, Sweden (2015), Värmlands museum, Sweden (2015), Galerie Jochen Hempel, Berlin, Germany (2015), Galeria Salvatore + Ala, Milan, Italy (2010, 2008), Dogenhaus Galerie, Leipzig, Germany (2004, 1999, 1997), The ACE Gallery, Hamilton, Bermuda (2002), Jack Hanley Gallery, San Francisco, US (2001), Galerie Francesca Pia, Bern, Switzerland (2000), Dogenhaus Galerie, Berlin, Germany (1996), Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Västerås, Sweden (1992). The exhibition New Masterpieces will also be presented at Ebelingmuseet, Torshälla, Sweden later this spring (4.4–24.5 2020).
Photo/courtesy: galleri Magnus Karlsson