EN VAGN I SKOGEN 30 MARCH – 6 MAY 2023
Publicerat i Exhibition.
From Cecilia Hillström Gallery:
We are pleased to present Leif Engström’s second solo show at the gallery, En vagn i skogen, featuring a new series of paintings. The exhibition follows his acclaimed gallery debut in 2021, En kvällspromenad.
Through Engström’s gaze, everyday surroundings are turned into mythical places charged with emotions of wonder, melancholy, and longing. The silhouettes of the city softly blend in with nature or the fringes of a forest. This time, however, Engström’s starting point is more personal with a focus on memory and loss. An interior inspired by his childhood home in Värmland, as well as objects connected to family members, come into play in paintings where actual and imaginary places are intertwined.
The exhibition derives its title from one of the larger paintings in the show, En vagn i skogen (A Trailer in the Woods). The warm glow from the lights inside the trailer is inviting – at the same time this home on wheels seems deserted. The yellow trailer has a special meaning for the artist as a place where a close relative once lived, but also as a symbol for something bordering between the familiar and the unknown. What happens when we are no longer here? The most mundane objects may trigger a strong emotional response when charged with personal memories. It is as if the melancholy feeling of the passing of time is materialized on the canvas.
As I understand his work, it is about exploring the borderland. The boundary theme is present in almost all of Engström’s paintings, in many differing ways: his scenes are often set in twilight, at the border between day and night, light and darkness; many show places between the forest and the city, and the imagined observer is one who – like me in the tunnel – is positioned between the solitude of the bystander and the community of the environments being observed.
– Excerpt from exhibition text by David Thurfjell, writer and professor of religious studies at Södertörn University
READ THE EXHIBITION TEXT BY DAVID THURFJELL