Water, and its mirror-like surface, is central to Broos’ practice: water as that seductive essential element, yet with powerful currents of depth and darkness.
The piece in this auction, Det svarta hålet [The Black Hole], was exhibited at Borås Konstmuseum in 2011. In the book Speglingar, which was published to accompany the exhibition, Ingela Lind poetically describes the atmosphere in Broos’ paintings:
“There Värmland’s lakes deepen, drawing us down towards their dark depths. There the sky is scored by the spruce forest’s jagged edge. Their nature is confined, and there is the jetty – civilisation’s last outpost before the abyss: the great sinkhole is also liberation. Their young women tether the earth to the sky and the ocean. Their white dogs are suspended in the air as if messengers from a different world. And their people sink into themselves – into what?”
It is a world of women that Broos depicts. Through the years she has created several paintings of young women lying down, sitting, floating or standing in glimmering lake water. The models in her paintings are usually taken from her close families, such as her daughters and grandchildren.
Her imagery is inspired by the county of Värmland’s landscapes – the lake Fryken, the enormous forests that surround the lake’s beaches, or from her home in Östra Ämtervik. What seems like everyday situations are often ambiguous and charged with contemplative undercurrents.
Karin Broos had a somewhat late-career breakthrough with her exhibition at Kristinehamns Konstmuseum in 2008. That same year Moderna Museet in Stockholm acquired her work Spegling 2 for their collections. The motif in this piece – a young woman peering down into the water – is very similar to Det svarta hålet. Her breakthrough was followed by exhibitions at, amongst others, the already mentioned Borås Konstmuseum, Christian Larsen Gallery, as well as Sven Harrys konstmusuem and Waldemarsudde in Stockholm.
In 2017–2018 her work was introduced in the USA with an extensive nationwide tour. This tour continued in Sweden and during 2019 and 2020 Broos’ paintings have been shown in Linköping, Rättvik, Nässjö, Värnamo, Falsterbo and Falun amongst others.