Failed Geometry, 2021

Emma Bernhard »Letters to an Other«

Stockholm , November 11, 2021 - December 18, 2021

Emma Bernhard’s first exhibition at Galerie Nordenhake Stockholm brings together a selection of new works that carefully incorporate abandoned items. In Bernhard’s series of sculptures and paintings, materials are immersed in a new context that allow us to break and reconfigure notions of value.

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Like an exhale, the sculptures lie around hanging from the ceiling and leaning against the gallery walls, like collapsed, draping figures that insist on becoming self-standing despite their fragile structures. Leftover tights filled with plaster and petroleum jelly resemble limbs that wobble along the floor like dancers, suddenly imbued with life. With seemingly simple gestures, felt is piled into soft folds that emphasize either the weight or the lightness of the material.

If the sculptures are placed like actors on a stage, the paintings take on a supporting role, like a choreographer or souffleur who paces their rhythm and direction. The broad strokes of colour in Bernhard’s "Failed Geometry" paintings, struggle to achieve a perfect form. Black paint leaps accross the triptych in a few intense sweeping motions that form an unidentifiable shape, like ink on a sheet of paper. Paint and surface share a common hue in other works, in which subtle strips of canvas appear where brushstrokes fade, in an otherwise uniform tone.

Bernhard’s works confer value to objects and materials by assigning them an often-fictional story which repurposes them and calls us to be aware of and care for objects despite their lifelessness.

Installation view

Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool, triptych - 190 x 210 cm overall, 194 x 239 cm framed overall

Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool, triptych - 190 x 210 cm overall, 194 x 239 cm framed overall

Dancer
, 2021
, plaster, petroleum jelly, nylon , dimensions variable (installed here 351, 25 x 20 cm)

Dancer, 2021, detail

Dancer, 2021, detail

Installation view

Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool
, 110 x 70 cm, 114 x 75 cm framed 


Installation view

Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool, 120 x 170 cm, 125 x 175 cm framed


Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool, 190 x 120 cm, 195 x 125 cm framed 


Installation view

Dancer
, 2021
, felt, petroleum jelly, dimensions variable (installed here 351 x 55 x 12 cm)


Dancer
, 2021
, felt, petroleum jelly, dimensions variable (installed here 351 x 64 x 12 cm)


Installation view

Not now. Later., 2021
, felt, reinforcement bar, petroleum jelly, nylon
, 203 x 26 x 20 cm


Not now. Later., 2021


Installation view

Pattern of thought
, 2021
, wool, 
diptych - 210 x 110 cm, 215 x 235 cm framed overall


Pattern of thought
, 2021
, detail

Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool
, triptych - 159 x 63 cm overall


Failed Geometry
, 2021


Failed Geometry
, 2021
, detail

Failed Geometry
, 2021
, oil and acrylic on wool, 190 x 120 cm, 195 x 125 cm framed 


Failed Geometry, 2021