MÅRTEN MEDBO - ODDBALL
FEB 22 - MAR 24
“Mårten Medbo expresses himself in the fashion of a chameleon. He is constantly shifting and transforming himself, changing semblance, material, form and colour in a continuing conversation with his surroundings”
Petter Eklund, Homo Capax, 2013
Christian Larsen is pleased to present Oddball, Mårten Medbo’s (b. 1964 Järfälla, Sweden) second solo exhibition with the gallery, following on from his exhibition Thinking Through Clay, Katrineholms Konsthall, Katrineholm, Sweden (2017).
An Oddball can be described as someone or something that is atypical, bizarre or non-conforming, whimsically free spirited and eccentric. The curiously alluring sculptural forms of Mårten Medbo could be defined as such but they eschew easy classification. Both strange and menacing but at the same time playful and humoristic, Medbo’s fantastical sculptures continuously shift between both abstraction and representation, form and function. The works presented in Oddball show Medbo as an artist in dialogue with the centuries old ceramic medium but not restricted by it. Traditional, classical glazes are applied and poured over otherworldly forms and through continued experimentation in developing new motifs and contexts, Medbo creates a truly unique and surprising sculptural environment.
There is something almost weird and manic when you step into the gallery space and gaze upon Medbo’s works. Each sculpture consists of a number of wheel-thrown clay parts which, when attached and manipulated by the artists hand, create surreal sculptural forms. In the Hose series long, snake like tangles of clay are twisted and turned in on each other creating a seemingly never-ending web where no start or finish can be detected. These sit alongside Medbo’s Crowds, whose bulbous bubble-like curves evoke sprouting organic growths, while the anthropomorphic forms of Medbo’s Tripods and Quadpods appear alive, like creatures stalking the gallery, lumbering and seeping. Sitting somewhere between horror and comedy, Medbo’s almost menacing oversized mouths grimace and wince, the terror abated by their smooth curves and oversized proportions.
Unpredictability is the artists way forward. In Oddball Medbo continues to develop and expand his imaginative world and to blur the line between art, design and craft. By combining both historical techniques with genre defying thinking and by confidently balancing humour and menace, beauty and ugliness Medbo reinforces the thought that in his world, anything is possible.
Mårten Medbo (b. 1964 Järfälla, Sweden) was educated at Konstfack, Stockholm, Sweden (1992) and received his PHD at the School of Design and Crafts, Gothenburg, Sweden (2016). Recent exhibitions include Thinking Through Clay, Katrineholms Konsthall, Katrineholm, Sweden (2017); Endnote, Galleri Thomassen, Gothenburg, Sweden (2016); Mårten Medbo, Christian Larsen, Stockholm, Sweden (2015); Soul of a Bowl, Vogooze Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2015); Fire!, Venus Over Manhattan, New York, USA (2014); Homo Capax, Swedish Institute and Galerie NeC, Paris, France (2013). Medbo’s works are represented in the National Museum (Stockholm) Röhsska Museum (Gothenburg) The Islandic Museum of Design and Applied Art (Reykjavik) Gotland Art Museum (Gotland) John Michael Kohler Art Centre (USA) as well as many private collections in Sweden, Europe and the United States.