press release

Opening: Thursday August 30, 2007, 17.00-20.00

Galerie Nordenhake is pleased to announce the re-opening of its Stockholm gallery at Hudikvallsgatan, under the directorship of Ben Loveless. For this occasion, the gallery will present an exhibition of new works by the Swedish artist Magnus Wallin. Wallin will show eight sculptures and one new video work which are formally and conceptually representative of his inquiry into the ideology of physical beauty in Western culture.

Wallin’s work takes on the norms that define an ideal body in the history of images. In fact, Wallin was born with a withered arm which has allowed him to personally confront the visual authority of the ideal body. In the works “Intimate“ and “Once Upon a Time“ Wallin uses 1:1 casts of his disfigured finger and arm, respectively, as a basis from which to work. Wallin questions how historical efforts to define and standardize what is physically “normal“ have changed the self’s perception of the body. Thus, the subject’s identity is a product of a social and moral education that stresses basic ‘standards’ of being.

Wallin explores the institutions that propose the distinction between what is ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ as natural. This dualism is artificial according to Wallin, used to exclude those who are ‘different.’ In “Lamp,“ an old Art Deco lamp in the form of a dancer has, instead of a shade, the top portion of a skull attached on top. Similarly, in “Institute“ a rib cage has been flipped upside down and lined with a plastic bag. These objects attempt to visualize, in the artist’s words, ‘the structures of oppression,’ aiming at an alternate narrative to the constant classification of the human body.

Magnus Wallin was born in 1965 in Kåseberga, Sweden, he is based I Malmö. This is his third time exhibiting at Galerie Nordenhake. He studied fine art at the Konsthögskolan Valand in Gothenburg and at the Danske Kunstakademi in Copenhagen. Recent shows include “Meet the New You”, Des Moines Art Center, USA (2007), “Black box Magnus Wallin”, Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, USA (2006) “Physical Sightseeing“ at the Kunsthalle Wien/Ursula Blicke Video Archive (2006), “The Moderna Exhibition“ at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2006), “Kiss the Frog! The Art of Transformation“ at the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo (2005), "Physical Paradise", James Cohan Gallery (2002), "Solo", Tensta Konstahall and Malmö Konsthall (2002), "Physical Sightseeing", Boras Konsthall and Uppsala Konstmuseum (2001-2000), and "Skyline", Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2000). During the last years, his works have been presented among other venues at Art Unlimited, Art Basel, Egofugal, 7th International Istanbul Biennial (2001), “Hieronymus Bosch,“ Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2001), “Plateau of Mankind,“ 49th Venice Biennial (2001), Impakt Festival, Centraal Museum in Utrecht (2001), and “End of the World & Principle Hope,“ Kunsthaus Zürich (1999).

Magnus Wallin