press release

A painting is an act

Håkan Rehnberg’s (born 1953, Gothenburg) paintings are unique, final and incontrovertible acts.

Rehnberg paints in oils on sand-blasted acrylic sheeting. He squeezes the paint on a wide putty knife leaving the colours unmixed at this stage. Then he goes on to paint in an unbroken movement, either vertical or horizontal, creating a single gesture with all its properties leaving their mark on the painting. This action is one of internal contradiction, wavering at the borderline of control and unintentionality. After this the painting cannot be altered or corrected. It can only be accepted or rejected.

Rehnberg is a widely read and erudite man. His works can proceed from or be spurred by the philosophy of Plotinus, a painting by Caspar David Friedrich or Titian, a novel by Henry James or the writings of Hölderlin. Thought and the selection of the “theme” precede the act of painting and set its mood. The appearance of the painting is a synthesis of experience, skill and feeling, and things that are not completely under the artist’s control, ones that simply happen.

Håkan Rehnberg’s paintings are wonderful. The eye is allowed to wander in their multi-based networks of rich, breathing colour, even endlessly. To focus on different heights and parts, to enjoy their tensions, calm breathing, joy and anxiety, ultimately released as beauty.

Håkan Rehnberg is one of Sweden’s most highly esteemed and successful artists. A member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts since 2000, he has held a large number of exhibitions in Sweden and elsewhere in Europe. His works are included in many public and private collections both in Sweden and abroad. Rehnberg’s works were last seen in Finland at Galerie Artek in 1995.

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Hakan Rehnberg