Meeting the world with senses wide-open
Did Christine Ödlund become a composer to be able to hear, compose and convey the timbres within the living pigment of chlorophyll, or did she become a painter to be able to materialize the rumble, the tones, and the messages of nature’s own score?
It’s not the first time CFHILL shows Christine Ödlund’s work. She was one of the artists in our first show at the palace on Västra Trädgårdsgatan, in early spring 2018. The show was called The Beautiful Escape, and featured works by Ödlund, together with Hilma af Klint and Carsten Höller, among others. The common denominator was their different strategies for breaking new ground in the search for understanding the conditions of life. A task approached with innovation and wide-open senses. Methods characterizing pioneering science. Art that expands the probability of the possible.
Systema Naturae, Christine Ödlund’s first solo show at CFHILL— and her most extensive gallery show—departs from her allotment, located just south of central Stockholm. More or less by coincidence, the standard-sized plot of land was transferred over to her, complete with pre-existing plants. Thus began a new chapter in her life—a new universe.
With her attuned sensitivity and ability to perceive and intercept biological signals, Ödlund systematically got to know her plants. The allotment became a canvas, pigments already applied. A hyperrealism of sorts. CFHILL is proud to be a stop on the way for this deeply original and powerful artistry.
The new works include those that relate to the allotment, a project that can be described as visual, resonant, and vivaciously didactic. On the canvases, the constantly ongoing biological processes are described in coruscating clarity.
We want to thank the writers in this publication, released in conjunction with the exhibition. Artist Carl-Michael von Hausswolff contributes with a fascinating short essay about a world composed of vibrations in different frequencies, and what this has meant, philosophically, historically, and within science, and how composer Vaclav Halek, after hearing mushrooms sing, in 1980 began composing music from what he heard. About forty years later, his incredible experiences are scientifically confirmed in the New Scientist.
Gallerist Petra Lafond provides in her text an overview of Christine Ödlund’s practise and oeuvre. Writer Sara Walker describes how painting with plant pigments, like Ödlund does, is key to the hyperrealism and fantasy all at once present in Ödlund’s works.
The picture is further deepened in the conversation between Christine Ödlund and writer and journalist Elin Unnes. Unnes was much involved in the allotment herself —before giving it to the artist. A gift which, in turn, inspired the exhibition, Systema Naturae.