”The hands seek out what is to be done…”
This summer Ulf Rollof will open his first mid-life exhibition at Moderna Museet in Malmö. At CFHILL the public can get a taste of his most recent light-filled paintings: joyful, anarchistic playroom fantasies in sensual colours that dream-like blend references from the artist’s life near the sea - surfboards, pirates, treasure chests, maps and sandy beaches. The struggle to survive, which identified Rollof’s work thirty years ago, has been transformed into a bubbling lust for life in blue, red and violet.
Confetti from history’s possibly most unreal presidential inauguration had hardly been swept away before the order was issued to commence building a wall on the border of Mexico. An eventual catastrophe. Even though it was not there it began, it is nevertheless a kind of beginning for Ulf Rollof, who as a young man arrived at the American-Mexican border, which in 1985 underwent a catastrophe, an earthquake that cost thousands of lives. This is what I associate with Ulf Rollof: his concentration on one thing - survival. He became well known in the early nineties with his amazing life-saving machines: bellows, fly-traps, heated seats, protective clothing. All were constructed from the simplest materials: metal bars, rubber, tarpaulin. With its restrained yet desperate poetry, Rollof’s work was something one did not easily forget.
A few years ago Ulf Rollof exhibited a number of paintings using the same technique as his current work. The theme was kleptomania, a compulsive disorder that he suffered from for many years. His euphoria at overcoming this disorder became stronger than expected and still remains.
—These paintings are a free-standing continuation. I don’t need to talk about kleptomania any more. Now I’m thinking more of pirates, to be released, liberation. Something of the culture I have around me in Ventura (north of Los Angeles), with surfers and bikers.