Jockum Nordström Press Release
September 8—October 14, 2006
Opening on September 8, 2006, David Zwirner is pleased to present a solo exhibition of new work by Swedish artist Jockum Nordström. The artist recently exhibited at the Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, OH; The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; the Tate Modern in London, England; and the Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Sweden. This will be Nordström's fourth exhibition at the gallery and will take place at the 525 West 19th Street space.
Elegantly constructed, Nordström's settings are often frighteningly benign, yet they allude to decisive themes: manual labor, overt sexuality, and everyday social dynamics. The exhibition will include several collages as well as a number of new works on paper. Each of the works offers a glimpse of an eerily private encounter or a sinister tryst.
In Nordström's newest works, the compositions are airy with an emphasis on negative space. In Pawn Broker (2006), a diptych in graphite, the left half depicts a carefully-composed room of midcentury furniture. On the right, a well-dressed man waits patiently, smoking, pensively facing the viewer. In the collage Things are Beginning to Hum (2006), two concurrent mini-narratives take place within a cinematic format. Figures wander amidst angular tables and chairs on one side; a woman waits on all fours for a possible spanking on the other, perhaps suggesting that the viewer is also a voyeur. In some of the works, furniture or buildings occupy figurative space, hinting toward a pseudo-linear narrative yet never quite divulging the details. The artist's ability to capture subtle human emotion is evident in his careful renderings of faces and expressions, and his tendency to erase and reform sections gives the work a vaguely nostalgic quality.
Nordström’s work explores the subject of modern day alienation. By treating this as a given, however, and accepting it without protest, the artist is able to access his imaginative world very elaborately. (Dorothy Spears, 2003).