Documented solo & group shows chronologicaly;
In Grünewalds Studio, Saltsjöbaden
With the Future Behind Us, Moderna Museet Stockholm
Crack an Egg, Tegel, Stockholm
Break of Your Back, Emerging Artists at Chart Art Fair, Copenhagen
Nouveau Naïve, Ram Galleri, Oslo, (group show)
Kaleidiskop, Island Oslo, (group show)
Helena Lund Ek with Batur, Taverna Brillo, Stockholm
Friends in the Studio, Destiny ́s Atelier, Oslo
Celebration, MEGA Foundation, Stockholm
Ytterstad, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö, (group show)
the Loud Wordless Process, Johan Berggren Gallery, Malmö
In Grünewalds Studio
Helena Lund Ek is exhibiting portraits, self-portraits and other renderings in Isaac Grünewald's studio, located in the villa in Saltsjöbaden which served as his last residence before passing in 1946. In recess from her usual workspace in Stureby, Lund Ek has been working in Grünewald’s studio during the summer of 2019. Centralized around this room which allows the artist to work, the exhibition presents a transparent view of its medium, painting. It is about the gaze, the meeting between artist, subject, milieu and, later on, the viewer. Site-specific works, as well as older works created in Stureby, will be on view for the opening, as a way to let the two locations interact. Text by Lo Hallén
Isaac Grünewald (1889 - 1946) was a leading figure in Swedish modernism. In 1918 he produced the legendary Expressionist Exhibition at Liljevalchs in Stockholm. Also attended by Sigrid Hjertén (his first wife) and Leander Engström. Both Isaac and his art suffered a great deal of antisemitic criticism, which his grandson Bernhard Grünewald writes about in his book "The Orient: the image of Isaac Grünewald in the Swedish press 1909-1946".
In 1936, Isaac Grünewald acquired the villa. After minor modernizations, he moved in with Märta Grundell, who soon after became his second wife. They came to be the first to stay in the villa all year. Isaac was then at the height of his career, vital and always at the center of cultural debate and activities. The home in Saltsjöbaden became a meeting point with Isaac as a generous host. The large studio was added in the early 1940s after drawings by Märta's brother Olov. In 1946, Isaac and Märta died in an air crash. After some time, the villa was taken over by Isaac's son Iván, who came to live with his family in the villa until 1972.
Modernautställningen, With the Future Behind Us
The Modern Museum, Stockholm, 2018
The Moderna Exhibition is a large-scale project that the museum presents once every four years. Several artists in the 2018 edition look back at Swedish history and explore the events that have shaped and reshaped society. Other artists highlight alternative experiences of living in Sweden today. And in the midst of these local standpoints, the exhibition incorporates geographically distant perspectives that, in different ways, impact our lives here and now.
The human body is tangibly present throughout the exhibition – surveilled and registered, caught between legal and geographic boundaries, and shaped by ideologies, technologies, power structures and norms. Also palpable are the remnants of nature, transformed beyond recognition to make way for vast industrial tracts of land where time passes ever more rapidly. In a more hopeful direction, we encounter the search for an existence and a sexuality unencumbered by patriarchy, consumerism, and religious heritage, with new approaches to understanding oneself as a more integral part of a cosmological whole. The hierarchy of man, animal and plant is reinterpreted and renegotiated in novel ways, opening up the potential for imaginative new forms of communal understanding
Helena Lund Ek’s art takes possession of the space and the laws of physics. Her primary medium is figurative painting, on fabrics that can be hung for several metres along walls or suspended freely from the ceiling, or down along a wall, only to spread out across the floor. Lund Ek works with painting as action, exploring the fluid boundary between art and life. Her paintings have a particularly charged presence in the room, as though imbued with their own life.
The paintings ”Lily of the Valley” and ”Hanging” came about during a period of personal loss and grieving. In many cultures, the lily of the valley, which flowers early in spring, symbolises returning to life from death. The figures in her paintings seem to hover on a level between earth and another dimension. For Helena Lund Ek, painting has become a secondary spiritual place for prayer and faith, allowing it to be a poetic possibility for transcendence.
Crack an Egg
Solo show at Tegel, Stockholm, presented by MEGA FOUNDATION
Sorrow depends on strength to exist; mourning is a fist fight, tears seize energy, melancholy is resolute. But when agony circumvents rationality and encamps flesh, muscles, veins, organs, how do we instruct the body to withstand?
MEGA Foundation is proud to present Helena Lund Ek’s second solo exhibition with the gallery. Crack an Egg is an intimate exploration of separation within oneself. As an isolated action merely apolitical and individual, yet a source of controversy and bloodshed due to history and context. Focused around the I and the body as well as personal grief and endurance, the works are based on Lund Ek’s own emotional and physical experience.
The scale of the sculptures and paintings varies from the miniature to the massive, while material, technique and motif creates inseparable contradictions. The picture of a pink peony rising from a silver colored gym weight is composed of expressive strokes in wall paint, water-color and oil on canvas. Attached to the composition is a raw, abstract clay sculpture seemingly writhing in pain. The image of an austere woman situated in a mundane home setting with a runny fried egg in her hand — sunny side up — is in direct dialogue with the usage of egg tempera on roughly textured sand-gesso. Colorful geraniums in bloom are keeping her company. Glazed ceramic boxing gloves in shiny red are resting on sturdy concrete stone. Their finish is irregular, as if fashioned by a trembling hand. Monumental, standing rectangular paintings are balancing on disproportionately small dumbbells and clenched fists in plaster. Both abstract and corporeal in expression, the work reflects how physicality and identity, though not naturally coherent, inevitably affect each other.
Crack an Egg is ultimately portraying the dichotomy of being in control of and at the same time controlled by the body, and its consequential vulnerability and forcefulness. It’s a depiction of gratitude and involuntary guilt presented in a space for feeling or not feeling while observing embodied emotion.
Text by Lo Hallén
Break of Your Back, Chart Art Fair
Charlottenburg, Copenhagen, 2018
9 paintings, 6 scaffoldings
Ram Galleri, Oslo, 2018
Lene Baadsvig Ørmen, Tarald Wassvik, Ida Madsen Følling, Helena Lund Ek
Helena Lund Ek, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Sverre Bjertnes, Lars Monrad Vaage, Ida Ekblad
Audar Kantun, Munan Øverlid, Bjarne Melgaard, Urd Pedersen, Arvid Pettersen, Calle Segelberg
Perment work at ALMA, Stockholm
MATERIAL ART FAIR
Mexico City, Mexico, 2017
Represented by MEGA Foundation, Stockholm
Helena Lund Ek med Batur
Taverna Brillo, Stockholm 2017
Utställningen är ett samarbete mellan Helena Lund Ek (f. 1988, Sverige) och Batur (f. 1999, Afghanistan).
Måleri betraktas i regel som en ensam process. Även om konsten som sådan ofta har en säregen förmåga att ena människor ger själva skapandeprocessen sällan rum för mer än en. Särskilt få är de målare som väljer att dela sin duk med någon annan. I utställningen Helena Lund Ek med Batur möter vi två konstnärer som har upplåtit sina konstnärliga förmågor till ett delat projekt och genom dialogiskt måleri, samtidigt präglat av lek och motstånd, uttrycker sig med en enad stämma.
Tillsammans har de skapat tre större oljemålningar i panoramaformat, totalt uppdelade på åtta dukar. De använder sig av starka färger och direkta motiv som ger upphov till ett kraftfullt uttryck. Målningarna tematiserar religiösa föreställningar om gudomlig hierarki med hjälp av besynnerliga utsnitt ur helvete och himmel. Samtidigt gestaltar de temata som makt, land, jord och plats.
Ifrågasättandet av maktanspråken bakom religionens samtidigt löftesrika och hotfulla bilder utgjorde ett av huvudskälen till att Batur tvingades fly sitt hemland och nu befinner sig i asylprocessen i Sverige. Därför kallar Helena Batur för ”The Rebel”. Batur vet inte riktigt vad ”The Rebel” betyder men säger att om han hade varit tyst hade han lika gärna kunna stannat kvar i Afghanistan. Om det är till helvetet alla musiker, poeter och konstnärer kommer så är det ändå dit han vill. Text av Astrid Grelz
MEGA foundation, Stockholm, 2016
At the centre of me and you the heart beats. Inside the red flesh goes the pumping blue veins, which stretch along our whole body. The flesh and the love of life, which makes our heart go on, through the days of slumber, into the days of colours. All along pumps the heart, until it stops and beats no more.
MEGA Foundation is proud to present Helena Lund Ek’s solo exhibition CELEBRATION—a feast and an energy swung from huge fabric-collages, through a glass-sculpture, and into intimate watercolours. A future expressionism, where the brush stroke is coupled with a fine thread and where colours beat in vivid and resounding statements. Lund Ek’s work evolves around a language pertaining to the precarious ’I’ and its utterance in painting and the body, which it represents anew in every sensous encounter, in a tone that is both plaintive and ecstatic. CELEBRATION is a juxtaposing continuation of her solo show the Loud wordless process at Johan Berggren Gallery in 2015.
ELEPHANT, YTTERSTAD, JOHAN BERGGREN GALLERY 2015
Julia Bondesson, Andreas Eriksson, Goldin+Senneby, Steinar Haga Kristensen, Helena Lund Ek, Viktor Rosdahl, Emanuel Röhss, Eirik Sæther, Maria von Hausswolff.
the Loud wordless process
Johan Berggren gallery, Malmö, 2015
The exhibition 'The loud wordless process' stems from a personal experience of loss and becomes a meditation on painting that feeds the interrogation of the connection between art and life. There is a strong emphasis on tactile material, bleeding oil colour on unprimed fabric with the incorporation of traditional handicraft elements such as textiles and embroidery. Large paintings, sewn together float over the ground carrying clear visual statements.
Between painterly surface and supple structure a nether-world of paint and soil, angels and spirits is summoned from the history of painting, to witness and partake in the recreation of the life of its figures in our secular age still struggling to articulate the nature of our strangest intuitions. Bodies negotiate the physical limits of their appearance with what gives them life and movement, the process whereby the figure's mobility is increased – the addition of planes surplus to the flatness of the wall-bound canvas – suggests the possibility of extra dimensions to their representation. Which can be taken as a matter of course for the work and the possibilities of seeing, as opposed to being merely a formal exploration of painting's extended field.
Lund Ek conceives of the place of painting as a critical space for the testing of effective means of secular faith and prayer. The question of experiencing transcendence is posed as part of the poetic procedure of painting as at once flight and grounding. With one foot on the ground the other in the sky, Lund Ek’s painting is at once serious and playful, creating a wordless discussion between divinities and mortals on the nature of art and life. Jonathan Beecroft
National Academy of the Arts, Oslo, 2014