The Raft of the Medusa


Review by Bo Madestrand in Dagens Nyheter 19 jan

Review by Dan Backman in Svenska Dagbladet 19 jan

Susanne Larsson’s sculptural processes depart from personal experiences of art as well as from present day political events. Her works paraphrase motifs taken from different art historical epochs, in which the figures leave the two-dimensional sphere for the three-dimensional room. This transference is essential for how Larsson’s own associations and interpretations evolve, indifferent to whether they are conforming to the intentions of the original work or not.

Larsson carefully chooses her motifs; some are obtained at museum visits, others from art historical literature, and some have followed her over the course of 20 years. In her work processes, contrasting the conscientious and beautiful to the horrific captivates her. Terms such as vulnerability and hunting are common features for the images that get transformed into pottery. The connection to present day makes an important element, as Larsson examines how feelings such as worry and fear are played out in a world she sees as strongly subjected to human suffering, madness and powerlessness. History shows that similar conditions of vulnerability prevails, something that in times as these is urgent to be reminded of.

During the work with the relief The Burial of the Sardine, the American presidential election was in full swing. The original work by Goya depicts an annual burlesque carnival where the people bemoans the death of the sardine and confess their sins to false priests. The exhibition title The Raft of the Medusa, is taken from the romantic artist Gericault’s painting, portraying the true event of 1816 when a group of miserable shipwrecked people were fighting for survival on a raft on the stormy waters outside the coast of Mauritania. Larsson’s sculptural interpretation was made at a time when increasingly more people are forced to the fatal escape across the Mediterranean Sea.

The Raft of the Medusa is Susanne Larsson’s second solo exhibition at S.P.G and progresses from the previous exhibition Islands. This time Larsson exhibits in all three rooms of the gallery.