Linn Fernström’s painting in the auction, Flygförsök, was exhibited at the Lars Bohman Gallery in Stockholm. The show was reviewed in the daily Svenska Dagbladet:
“She crashed onto the Swedish art scene almost 15 years ago, dividing it into two camps.
Linn Fernström has undeniably aroused strong feelings every time she has stretched a piece of linen cloth across a sturdy frame and held her paintbrush against the canvas. It is easy to recognise Fernström’s hand in the new works, shown at Bohman. The formats are large, the palette rich and the brushwork is powerful. The figures resemble ones we’ve met before. A young woman, with the artist’s features, wanders alone with her thoughts, closed off and mysterious, yet exposed to our gaze. A screaming naked baby reaches its arms towards empty space. Monkeys dance. Wide-eyed children with serious expressions, as if no one taught them how to laugh. They are all there, surrounded by gigantic budgerigars, mayflies, smaller birds and clusters of balloons. These recurrent motifs are yet to be worn out. They continue to be the bearers of enigmatic histories.
Fernström’s painted worlds are ablaze with colour. If bright on the surface they are pitch-black within. There is something worryingly threatening in these scenes, oscillating between the white in the background and the blood-red that is almost dripping off the canvases.”
(Extract from Joanna Persman’s review in Svenska Dagbladet, 27/8/2014)
Linn Fernström is an artist of contrasts. Extremes meet in her often large canvases; the beautiful encountering the grotesque, the idyllic clashing with terror, the ethereal mixed with power, and the momentous interplaying with the trivial. When all is said and done perhaps Fernström is an artist who paints ‘Life’. Without judging the ingredients that fill our days and years with events and impressions according to some assumed criteria, Fernström allows them to figure indiscriminately and interact together in a place decided upon by the artist. Fernström is a conductor who with an iron-fist leads an experimental orchestra. Does this sound paradoxical? Perhaps, but therein lies her particular strength and originality.
Linn Fernström holds a unique position in Swedish contemporary art. Headstrong and insistent, completely uninterested in trends, she has created her own platform. And she is liberatingly brave too – painting large and figuratively in a time when, for many years now, art discourse has focused on research and process.
Fernström debuted in 2000, the same year she graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Since then she has exhibited both in Sweden and abroad. Fernström has brought a Nordic tradition, where painting occupies an important position, into the 21st century. Her work is represented in, for example, the collections of Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Malmö Museum, Borås Konstmuseum and Linköpings konstmuseum.
Contemporary Art & Design
Viewing: 5 – 9 November, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm
Open: Mon–Fri 11 AM – 6 PM, Sat – Sun 11 AM – 5 PM
Auction: 10 November, starts at 11 am, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm
Catalogue online from 28 October