The Swedish artist Jesper Nyrén (b.1979) draws inspiration from the landscapes of his home island, where he collects raw material – both as photographs and color studies – which he transforms into sketches and eventually into paintings in his studio. Nyrén’s compositions never directly replicate real physical places, however. They are more like spatial studies of things he sees and experiences on his island. His paintings reconstruct his experiences, painting them forth in an altered form. There is no direct analogical relationship between the paintings and the landscape, nor do his colors faithfully mimic reality; rather they create moods and gradations of light that are reminiscent of how nature feels to us. Nyrén’s paintings appear to radiate their own inner light.
The title of the exhibition, Elements, is important by its definition, the elements or the components allude to the composition in the paintings. The title also reflects a landscape in a period of time, affected by the season and the weather. For Nyrén the most important thing is how the landscape and light emerge in the paintings. To render a light where the elements form an entity as a whole, and with that a recognition.
Nyrén’s compositions consist of rectangular modules arranged against a blank background. He assembles the rectangles like sculptures, as boxes stacked on top of another, balanced in perfect equilibrium, never swaying or collapsing. However, the harmony is disrupted by certain boxes being painted to distinctly resemble the sky or water, creating a dynamic tension between weight and weightlessness, splintered reality and abstraction, surface and depth. Nyrén previously worked with various materials to produce contrasts between different color fields. In his newer works, he paints these contrasts rather than using divergent materials to underline them. Now, using fewer materials, he focuses purely on variations of the painted surface.
Crystallizing in Jesper Nyrén’s art are the patterns of a prism, a kaleidoscope or the light breaking through a window glass. Color and form are divided into different compositions, where each field has its own surface and structure.
Jesper Nyrén graduated from Stockholm’s Royal Institute of Art in 2007. He has exhibited in a number of solo and group shows in Sweden and Norway. He has received prestigious awards, including the Marabouparkens P.A.N.K award in 2008 and the Baertling Scholarship in 2015. He has also completed many public commissions in Sweden.