press release

Vogt Gallery is pleased to present Bo Christian Larsson’s first New York solo show. Larsson (born 1976) is a Swedish artist based in Berlin who works across a wide variety of media, including drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, video and performance. Mysticism, mythology, symbolism, ritual, Scandinavian history, and closeness to nature are recurring themes in his work.

In “Remote”, Larsson creates an immersive, room-sized installation of untreated wood that takes us away from quotidian reality and deep into a non-rational world, one whose immediacy and rawness asks us to surrender our preconceptions. An installation of unprocessed, sharp-edged pine planks changes the exhibition space into an enclosed wooden fortress, while his imagery and sculptures transform ordinary objects into portentous symbols.

Large-scale drawings are a substantial part of Larsson’s practice, often including linear elements as well as paint. Mixing abstraction with recognizable forms, space becomes malleable and collapsible. In “Spawn”, a square table-like surface covered with small objects on fire emerges from a large fur-covered shape, while melting candles echo tree trunks and burning black flames. Visual elements of the human body are ever transformed, cut up, or concealed in Larsson’s oeuvre. In a large format painting, “Clogged”, Larsson uses a vintage medical poster as a canvas, 'operating' on the poster with paint instead of a scalpel, searching for clues to the cause of an unknown malady.

In a series of small-scale works on paper, “Ghosts”, Larsson uses spray paint and acrylic to alter reproductions of black and white family portraits. By adding paint to the photographs, Larsson takes away the essence of the subjects. While their contained memories become even more distant, as objects they take on a new vibrancy, individuality, and physical immediacy. In another series of vintage photograph works, sharp incisions make triangular and cross-like cuts into the faces of Austrian actors such as Karl Schönbock and Karl Martell - the only recognizable characters we encounter in the show.

Walking through the exhibition leads farther into progressively smaller spaces, until the viewer comes upon a space too small to enter, “Mobile Home”. Piled trunks and suitcases form an impressive sculpture that symbolizes a tiny house and as such a portal into an unknowable world, transforming these objects we usually carry with us on a journey into the destination itself. There is a simultaneous playfulness and brutality in Larsson's work that constantly forces us to question the sureness of our footing, the accuracy of our navigations, and our degree of control over our surroundings and ourselves. As Martin Schibli of the Kalmar Konstmuseum in Sweden writes, “Bo Christian Larsson’s art is a labyrinth between fiction and reality in which the observer gets farther and farther from the exit the more he or she seeks an answer.”

Bo Christian Larsson recently opened his first museum solo show including two venues in Sweden (Kalmar & Kristinehamn). Previously he had two institutional solo shows, at Kunstverein Bregenz (Austria) & Kunstverein Braunschweig (Germany). His work has been included in exhibitions at international venues such as Hayward Gallery (London), Haus der Kunst (Munich) and Georg Kolbe Museum (Berlin). His works form part of collections such as Hamburger Kunsthalle (Kupferstichkabinett), Pinakothek der Moderne (Munich), Staedtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Munich), FRAC / Ile-de-France, Paris and Konstmuseum Kristinehamns (Sweden). Coinciding with his first New York gallery solo show at Vogt Gallery he will be presented in an institutional solo show at Ludlow38, New York.

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Bo Christian Larsson