Selected works by Ida Ekblad

Ida Ekblad
The L, The LL, The Lapis Lazuli

2010

Cast concrete, pigment, found objects

120 x120 x 5 cm

Ida Ekblad’s chance-based art practice is a literal reflection of her peripatetic methodology, a special kind of no-holds-barred urban folk art. The production of her sculptures, paintings, music and poetry revolves around ‘drifts’ taken around the cities in which she will be making the work. Like a scavenger on a mission to extract essential, survival sustenance out of the discarded remains of contemporary culture, Ekblad collects materials on her walks, sifting through piles of rubble from demolished buildings and industrial heaps of metal.

Ida Ekblad
Dubbed

2010

Concrete, found objects

110 x 90 cm
Ida Ekblad
Night Ocean Return Without And Without Hesitate

2010

Mixed media, concrete

144 x 123 cm
Her resulting works are exquisitely vibrant, free-associative compositions pairing dissonance with visual inventiveness. She displays a prodigious and playful imagination, referencing the visual language of fellow ‘drifters’, the Situationists or the expressionism of CoBrA painters such as Asger Jorn.
Ida Ekblad
Banging

2010

Mixed media

110 x 95 cm
Ida Ekblad
Dusty Dry On The Tongue Swallowed Some

2010

Mixed materials

150 x 100 cm

Some of her works, such as Banging, Dubbed, The L, The LL, The Lapis Lazuli, Night Ocean Return Without and Without Hesitate (all 2010), could almost be called concrete poems - collected refuse objects have been literally embedded into wet panels of the material, finished with an inscription of the artist’s initials at the bottom, nodding to mark-making on actual street art. Similarly, in her sculpture Untitled (2010) discarded scraps of metal have been planted in a concrete pedestal. The heaviness of these pieces contrasts with the delicacy and refined balance of Figurine with Horns, Tennessee Hills and Organ Invention (all 2010), abstract shapes that somehow find completion in the artist’s ambiguous titles.

Ida Ekblad
To Drink A Glass Of Melted Snow

2010

Oil on canvas

203.5 x 163.5 cm
Ida Ekblad
Missing Pages

2010

Oil on canvas

160 x 130 cm
Ida Ekblad
Organ Invention

2010

Welded steel

190 x 210 x 120 cm
Ida Ekblad
Figurine With Horns

2010

Cast concrete, found objects

265 x 100 x 60 cm
There is something sci-fi and post-apocalyptic about Ekblad’s embrace and presentation of what is essentially humanity’s waste. Equally, there’s an explosive sense of future-retro abstract centripetal release, seen for example in Stalk Gills And Caps Of Goodbye (2009), Dusty Dry On The Tongue Swallowed Some and To Drink A Glass Of Melted Snow (both 2010).
‘Painting to me combines expressions of rhythm, poetry, scent, emotion..... It offers ways to articulate the spaces between words, and I cannot be concerned with its death, when working at it makes me feel so alive.’
Ida Ekblad
Tennessee Hills

2010

Welded steel, found object

252 x 72 x 20 cm
Ida Ekblad
Loops

2010

Cast concrete and steel

134 x 82 x 62 cm
Ida Ekblad
Stalk Gills and Caps of Goodbye

2007

Oil on canvas

140 x 560 cm

Articles

IDA EKBLAD, GAUDEL DE STAMPA, PARIS, FRANCE, BY DAVID LEWIS


‘Febermalerier’, Ida Ekblad’s first solo show in Paris, is something of a departure for the young artist. Instead of satirical appropriations of American youth and gangster cultures (an example of which, Untitled (M), 2008, is in the New Museum’s current ‘Younger than Jesus’ survey), Ekblad offers seven densely expressionistic oil paintings, three colourful welded metal sculptures and a poem. There is a whiff of northern romanticism to the exhibition: the paintings are reminiscent of Asger Jorn, and the poem Ekblad penned in place of a press release, Feberdikt (2009), takes its title from Knut Hamsun. And yet one registers no disjunction from her earlier practice - even though on paper one probably should.

The largest, most obviously (or apparently) heroic painting, Hyberborea (2009), the title of which comes from a 1983 Tangerine Dream album, is more than eight feet across and presents a range of expressionist gestures, from stains and scratches to various loops and knots, and occasional patches of thicker, built-up paint. The colour is acidic but lovely. There are a lot of blues, with browns and near-blacks punctuated by coruscating yellows, whites, oranges and greens. Ekblad has left a significant amount of the unprimed canvas showing, especially along the edges, which re-asserts the figure-ground relationship, intensifying the colour by providing a tonal background, against which it explodes.

Of particular interest is the way aspects of Hyberborea are reiterated, and frequently modulated, throughout the exhibition. There is, for example, a recurring linear element, a looping, twisting line that gropes or knots itself throughout the picture. This mode of drawing is repeated, in three dimensions, in each of the three sculptures, which have been assembled from scraps of furniture. Note also the careful installation of the sculptures: Sham King, King of Sham (2009), the title of which references Jean-Paul Sartre’s description of Jean Genet, rests on the gallery floor, almost like an accident, or found detritus; Charlatan (2009) is mounted on two wooden planks, seeming to be rather more traditional, or ‘presented’; Bring this modern classic into your home (2009) hangs from the ceiling. Each sculptural effort, however lyrical or unique, is at the same time a grammatical unit in an exhibition-wide investigation called ‘sculpture’.

Source: frieze.com