Signed SE and dated -70. Glass painting 118.5 x 98 cm.
Galleri Sten Eriksson, Stockholm.
Uppsala konstmuseum, "Sten Eklund, Kullahusets hemligheter", 20 February - 11 March 2018.
Sten Eklund’s artistry revolves around the absence of humanity. Not our non-existence, but our non presence. Both in his graphic production and in his delicate glass paintings, he creates his compositions with fragments of buildings, machinery and objects.
The geometrically-constructed works become traces of the human form, of its progress and creations, where a structured order prevails in the absence of a human chaos.
At once timeless and contemporary, Eklund’s art engages just as artists like Marcel Duchamp and Öyvind Fahlström. From the outset, Eklund has always been considered to be before his time. His glass paintings of the late 1960s and early 1970s appear, at first glance, similar to precise architectural or engineering structures. The shiny elegant surface, in some way, shuts the viewer out, and the audience thus must struggle to penetrate the glass to reach the deeper dimensions that lay beyond – questions about evolution and human determination.
Björn Springfelt, formerly director at Moderna Museet, exhibited Sten Eklund in Lund in 1968, and tells us what an experience it was for him to encounter Eklund’s art, to discover that which does not follow a straight line, which does not meet our conventional expectations, but forces us to rethink and think in novel ways. The machines by Sten Eklund are not absurd like those by Picabia; instead they are brewing energies, ready to start up should we only find the right button to press.