From Rebecca Gallo…
Extract is an apt title for this exhibition of drypoint and mezzotint prints by respected Swedish artist Mikael Kihlman. For his first Australian exhibition, Chippendale’s Spot81 Gallery is presenting a cross-section of prints from Kihlman’s career: extracts from a much larger body of work. Since the late 1970s Kihlman has built up an impressive archive of moody, monochromatic images of urban spaces and dwellers. Kihman chooses to accentuate the strong light and dark contrast that is inherent to his medium, lending the scenes a sense of melancholy and drama. One recent series, Peoples, depicts anonymous figures walking the streets carrying heavy loads. Aside from a few loose indications of pavement and wall, their surrounds are not depicted. Abstract lines and scribbles around the figures suggest inner worlds and private trajectories.
Kihlman sets up a push-and-pull between the image he depicts and the method he uses to depict it. Figures, buildings, street scenes and interiors are interrupted by a series of deliberate, loose scratch marks. We move between the illusion of reality in finely depicted worlds on one hand, and the material reality of an image scratched into a copper plate, ingrained with ink and pressed onto paper on the other.
Until October 11
Spot81 Gallery, Chippendale
Pic: Mikael Kihlman, Crossroads, 1996/97, drypoint, paper size 108 x 79 cm, image size 79 x 69 cm.