Meditative repetition and color explosion
Wanås Konst is a unique cultural foundation in southern Sweden that commissions art that expands the notions of sculpture and landscape. It is composed of a sculpture park and art galleries on the site of a Renaissance castle and an organic farm. In May, two parallel exhibitions takes place in the sculpture park as well as in the galleries: Infinite Geometry by Rana Begum, with new works in the landscape; and Martin Jacobson’s large-scale backdrops for theater, taking on the leading role in Queen of F*cking Everything.
Rana Begum, No. 1067 Tiles_S, 2021. Courtesy of the artist and Kate MacGarry, London. Photo: Mattias Givell
Rana Begum’s work is 300 meters of brick footpaths leading us out into the sculpture park. Composed of a pattern based on large triangles in black, white, and brown, and surrounded by emerald-green lawns, the geometry depends on the measurements of the clay pavers, a material present in the historical buildings and once fired in a kiln on site. Following the layout of landscaping from 1820 around the 15th century Wanås castle, the three joining paths mark out direction and sightlines. Begum doesn't merely fill the space along the existing lines of the paths. She breaks down the repetitive geometrical pattern, widens and swells the paths, thus collapsing the power of monumentality and offering room for reflection and different points of views. In addition Begum presents two new freestanding sculptures in the sculpture park, as well created with site-specific materials – terracotta pipes and tiles.
The new works are accompanied by a recent series of intimate watercolors exhibited in the art gallery. Made during the pandemic lockdown, dabs of color fill tiny squares on a grid paper. Reminiscent of Agnes Martin’s work, Begum combines the abstract ideal with a meditative quality and gives room for the personal and emotional. A slight shift in color reveals each interruption in the making, not unlike the variations in the bricks used in the footpaths that through inherent qualities in the material and the process show slight alternations in scale and color.
In 2018 Martin Jacobson was commissioned to paint backdrops for Queen of F*cking Everything by Swedish playwright Jonas Gardell and to fuse his artistic vision with the historic theatrical tradition of hand painted scenography. He painted three sets, made for large contemporary stages, measuring up to 10 by 16 meters. Jacobson took on the challenge by combining inspiration from baroque theater and religious imagery with his own characteristic turned up colors and motifs from popular culture. The results are magical landscapes with pink skies, billowing clouds and glittering water as well as the basilica in Florence with Brunelleschi’s cupola appearing as a miracle, both familiar and strangely odd. Inside the exhibition space at Wanås, the cathedral-like hay barn from the 18th century, the sets are put on display with a new focus as monumental paintings. The large scale produces an immediate colorful encounter that the viewer can walk into and be immersed in. Jacobson creates a bridge between the past and present and has for several years explored landscape in his work with paintings that invite us into an emotional, unknown terrain. When we move through Jacobson’s installation, or walk Begum’s paths, we enter into a physical experience, an exercise in seeing.The sculpture park and the collection
Wanås Konst is a unique cultural foundation in southern Sweden that works with artists that expands the notions of sculpture and landscape. It is composed of a sculpture park and art galleries Please note that the Wanås Foundation has taken special measures to ensure visitors’ safety and that the outdoor area consists of almost 100 acres. For 34 years, Wanås Konst has been an art center that produces and presents site-specific, contemporary international art, and live art and education in the landscape with an emphasis on innovation and accessibility. Wanås is a place in the world where art, nature, and history meet, located in Southern Sweden, one and a half hours from Malmö/Copenhagen. The collection in the sculpture park hosts almost 70 permanent works—specially created for the site by artists such as Igshaan Adams, Nathalie Djurberg & Hans Berg, Latifa Echakhch, Ann Hamilton, William Forsythe, Martin Puryear, and Yoko Ono. Wanås Konst is run by the nonprofit Wanås Foundation.
WANÅS KONST CALENDAR
Rana Begum, Infinite Geometry
Exhibition period: May 8 – November 7*
*exhibition in art gallery closes August 29
Martin Jacobson, Queen of F*cking Everything
Exhibition period: May 8 – November 7
In Habit is an educational project in collaboration with Isabel (b. 1965, The Philippines) & Alfredo Aquilizan (b.1962, The Philippines) that is conducted with the artists remotely. The artist duo says: our artistic practice is anchored in the idea of collaboration and cooperation, with projects that involve and engage as well as create relationships by sharing experiences.
Exhibition period: April 1 – August 29
Frédéric Gies Proscenium, June 10-13
Rachel Tess Last Dances with and by Danish Dance Theatre, July 3-4
Since 2014, Wanås Konst has actively incorporated dance and performance into its program as a long time investment in live art, art that must be experienced in the moment and requires your presence in the here and now.
Proscenium: In June Frédéric Gies (b. 1973, France, works in Malmö) presents a new solo for Wanås Konst with a starting point in the body’s relationship to the outdoor environment, its states and sounds, the sculpture park and the art. Gies uses form to provide opportunities instead of limitations. Having studied ballet and modern dance, Gies has worked with French choreographers, been active in Berlin, and in the 2000s, began to gain attention for their own choreographies, often inspired by the club- and techno-scene. Gies creates their works both alone and in collaboration with others.
Last Dances: July 3-4, Wanås Konst welcomes the Swedish premiere of Last Dances, a new performance by and with choreographer Rachel Tess (b. 1980, USA), produced by Danish Dance Theatre with costumes by renowned Danish artist Peter Linde Busk, who blends patterns, materials, and moods into exciting colorful expressions. Last Dances is developed for the museum and continues Tess’ work outside the traditional performance space and her interest in different encounters with the audience.
Wanås Konst – The Wanås Foundation, Wanås, SE-289 90 Knislinge, Sweden
The sculpture park with the collection is open daily 10am – 5pm all year round.
For updates about opening hours please visit www.wanaskonst.se
Wanås Restaurant Hotel – please visit www.wanasrh.se
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Wanås Konst – Center for Art & Learning, presents and communicates contemporary art that challenges and redefines society, working outside in the landscape around Wanås in Skåne, southern Sweden. The permanent collection in the sculpture park is complemented with a program of temporary exhibitions, both outdoors and in the Art Gallery, and events such as guided tours, artists’ talks, performances and workshops engaging a wide audience. Wanås Konst produces site-specific international art and learning in an innovative and accessible way.
Wanås Konst is run by The Wanås Foundation, a non-profit foundation created in 1994, in Östra Göinge municipality, in the South of Sweden, 1.5 h from Copenhagen, Denmark. Founding Director Marika Wachtmeister initiated the art projects at Wanås in 1987. Since 2011 the foundation is led by Elisabeth Millqvist and Mattias Givell. Wanås Konst is part supported by state, regional (Region Skåne) and municipal funding, part self financed, as well as supported by private foundations and sponsors. Read more on the website www.wanaskonst.se
Wanås is a place in the world where art, nature and history meet. At Wanås the sculpture park Wanås Konst, Wanås Restaurant Hotel and Wanås Estate coexist and a private 15th century castle is also found on site. Wanås Konst is part of European Land + Art Network (ELAN) and Wanås is a sustainable destination. More information on the website www.wanas.se