Ragna Bley and Inger Ekdahl
Malmö | Sweden
A union of unpredictability and symmetry as the paintings of Ragna Bley and Inger Ekdahl interplay in a joint spring exhibition at Malmö Konsthall.
Ragna Bley is a young painter, experimenting with form and material as well as with time and space. Her large-scale canvases are not just covered in layers of paint, but also in layers of meaning—from personal memories and philosophical observations to references to science-fiction literature, science, bio-politics and other topics significant to Bley. The abstract expression allows the observer to peal these layers off, or indeed to add new ones. Bley’s body of work is as intimate and esoteric as it is accessible and nimble.
At Malmö Konsthall, Bley showcases new paintings divided in contrasting series. One completely new display, consisting of large canvases prepared with different kind of pigments, is installed in the courtyard of Malmö Konsthall. Out there, the weather elements will be allowed to become part of the painting process. This element of unpredictability is contrasted with the deeper sense of order reigning inside the protective walls of the Konsthall.
This is Ragna Bley’s first notable presentation in Sweden.
Inger Ekdahl was a Swedish pioneer of Modernism. Ekedahl mixed with mixed with the influential circle of artists experimenting with Concrete art, geometric forms and symmetric patterns in Paris after WWII. Ekdahl was inspired by the spontaneousness of Action painting, but would always keep these harmonising symmetries close to her heart. In the end, she became their champion par excellence. Her later work is sometimes referred to as Harmonigrams, meticulously systemised geometrical compositions, causing the eye to interpret optical 3D effects and fluid movement.
Malmö Konsthall’s dual spring exhibition is focusing on the evolution of representation and form. Inger Ekdahl’s progression from spontaneous expressionism to minimalistic patterns is matched up with the works of Ragna Bley which, in a literal sense, will evolve before our very eyes as the exhibition unfolds.
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