Big1 Detail

11.02 – 2.04.2016

Monkey Riders

Curated by Michela D’Acquisto

Antonio Colombo Arte Contemporanea is proud to present in Little Circus, the gallery space dedicated to special projects, Monkey Riders, the first solo exhibition in Italy of Swedish artist Erika Nordqvist.
What animates the protagonists of Erika Nordqvist’s drawings is the constant and ongoing research of their role in contemporary society. Depicted in domestic interiors, but also in libraries and museums, as well as in the middle of nature, her characters are caught in the attempt to carve out a space of their own in these places: they make decisions that they often regret, but it is impossible to go back and the consequences persist over time, as a testimony to a reflection as important, perhaps even more so, as the choice that it led to.
The medium favored by Nordqvist is well suited to translate on paper the steps of this process. At the beginning the pencil lines are just sketched, then they gain confidence, crisply marking the sheet. The artist does not bother to hide imperfections and stains, intentional or otherwise, she shuns perspective, unites environments that in reality could not coexist. Erasures, always visible, hint at every stage of the work, giving rise to an exceptional narrative ploy. Superimpositions and transparencies give new life and three-dimensionality to drawing, that, by virtue of its immediacy, offers an ideal means to accommodate confessions and memories.
Natural heir of artists such as Mamma Andersson and Klara Kristalova, Erika Nordqvist combines muted tones and Nordic rigor to a pronounced taste for magical realism and a lively irony, that, to paraphrase the title of the show, leads her to call herself a monkey rider: “after seeing, in the house of a usually very sensible middle-aged lady, several pictures showing a monkey riding a dog, this became my alter ego – a monkey rider, proud and completely mad”.
If at a first glance her drawings may seem personal, almost private, like an open window that allows to spy on the intimacy of others’ lives, it soon becomes clear that the scenes portrayed belong to the collective unconscious and serve to explore human relationships: with the others, with the surrounding world, but above all with ourselves.

The show will open on Thursday 11th February 2016, from 6.30 pm
Until 2nd April 2016
From Tuesday to Friday, from 10am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7pm, Saturday from 3pm to 7pm

Born and raised on a farm in Sweden, Erika Nordqvist studied art in England, first at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth (BA Hons Fine Art) and then at Slade School Of Art in London (MFA Painting).
She currently lives and work in Sweden.