Martin Wickström: Songs for the Little Ones
Galerie Forsblom 11.3.–3.4.2022
Martin Wickström (b. 1957) ranks among Sweden’s most acclaimed contemporary artists. His paintings possess a dream-like quality. His immaculate photo-realistic brushwork captures images, for instance, of architectural façades in exquisite detail while simultaneously suggesting gritty narratives about the lives that go on behind the doors and windows he portrays. His paintings express longing, loneliness, and bittersweet nostalgia. They visit places and moments of personal importance, yet their meaningfulness might reside in a seemingly inconsequential fleeting detail.
Architectural façades from around the world are a recurring motif in Wickström’s paintings. The painted façades seem to harbor secrets, returning to lost moments and people who once lived behind the enigmatic walls. Heightened by dramatic contrasts of light and shadow, his paintings leave subtle clues, hinting at something that once happened, yet without telling the whole story. Instead, they deliberately leave question marks hanging in the air, inviting us to finish the narrative in our imagination.
Wickström draws stylistic inspiration from Americana and Pop Art. He favors strong colors and dramatic cropping that highlights the thematic content. However, what he leaves out of the painting is just as important as what we see on the canvas. A haunting soundscape will accompany Wickström’s exhibition at Galerie Forsblom by the Swedish musician Per Hägglund.
Wickström graduated from Stockholm’s Gerlesborgsskolan in 1981 and the Stockholm Royal Institute of Art in 1987. His work is found in many significant private and public collections, including the Saastamoinen Foundation, the Skövde Art Museum, Norrköping Museum of Art, Gothenburg Museum of Art, the Fredrik Roos Nordic Collection, and Stockholm’s Moderna Museet.