OAS

THERESE ENSTRÖM

S.P.G. gladly presents Therese Enström’s first solo exhibition in the gallery. Water color paintings, drawings, collages, mobiles and objects are displayed in three rooms. Together the artworks constitute the installation OAS, influenced by the life work of American amateur-astronomer Percival Lowells (1855-1916).

In Lowell’s days, the belief that Mars’ stage of development was ahead of planet Earth flourished, which meant that one could foresee our planet’s future there. Through his telescope, Lowell followed how lines were moved around on its surface, and interpreted these changes as constructions of canals, dams and oases. His image of Mars became dystopian, as he concluded that its inhabitants were trying to gather the planets vanishing water. Even though Lowell’s research led to the subsequent discovery of Pluto, he was never accepted by the astronomical societies of his time. Today his observations are rejected as illusions, and Pluto is no longer considered a planet.

In OAS, Lowell’s visions and findings can be glimpsed, uncovering past times’ faded utopias and dreams of another world. Enström’s drawings bring sketches of the Mars-canals back to life. Floating mobiles of hobby material and barbeque sticks make out star-constellations, planets, micro-cosmos. The installation Planetarium consists of found material, resembling an alchemical wonder cabinet from the junkyard.

The exhibition invigorates Bauahus artist and color theorist Johannes Ittens’ color-star, this time invaded by a Martian palette. The same iron oxide-colors floats into the piece Mars Weed, which takes its name from the intruding plants in the novel The War of the Worlds by HG Wells. Another color-map consists of color-samples extracted from dreams.

Enström’s artistry is permeated by the human desire and curiosity for the unknown. She explores how utopias and dreams drive us further away from accustomed everyday life, as we aspire for something not yet discovered. Through the mix of materials and techniques, her distinctive world is revealed, where the lines in between myth and reality, success and failure, hope and defeat, vanishes.

Utopia only exists as destination, never as place, but makes out a cycle of myths and manifestations of the truth that we’ve decided to believe in.

Therese Enström is educated at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. She has been part of group exhibitions at Galleri Riis in Stockhom, Kunstlerhaus in Vienna, Kunsthall Charlottenburg in Copenhagen, amongst others.