Will I ever stop swooning over Fredrik Söderberg's work? Doubtful. I sincerely don't know how he has such tremendous output, both in terms of quantity and exquisite quality. His next show, "Styx," opens at Galleri Riis Stockholm on Saturday, and explores the mythic trope of the underworld and its infamous river, in addition to many other heroes' journeys throughout time:
Opening reception on Saturday, April 5 at 17-20
Galleri Riis is pleased to present our second exhibition with Fredrik Söderberg (b.1972) in the Stockholm gallery.
The exhibition Styx takes the tale of the ferryman Charon as its point of departure, myths about the rivers in the underworld and the battles that took place around those waters. In this exhibition Fredrik Söderberg's detailed and skilfully executed watercolours are at the same time chaotic, swarming and strict. All the grand stories seem to merge in these works where he depicts many of history's most iconic tales along with architectural historical paraphrases.
The new works deal with differences and oppositions, order, chaos, movement and contemplation. There doesn’t seem to be any systematic or hierarchical order in the paintings, all destinies and historical legends are woven together. He describes them as a stage, a reflection on how the gods perceived humans in the myths, as game pieces, beings that could be used for their own purposes. In these works Söderberg wants to portray the archetypal conduct of a hero, and reproduces various sacrificial scenes. An image he has previously made use of, King Domalde from Carl Larsson painting Midvinterblot, reappears in one of the paintings. The king sacrifices himself for the country to achieve a better harvest - a classic mythological motif. The well-known image of Perseus holding the head of Medusa is also included in one of the works and William Blake's image of Los entering the tomb is depicted as a fragment, the image in which he carries the sun.
Söderberg portrays the idealized, his works are beautiful but the grotesque and sometimes violent and bloody is always present – in the shade of good. In it lays a duality that creates excitement and desire.
On the occasion of the exhibition, we will publish the richly illustrated book Styx, with a conversation between Fredrik Söderberg and Sara Walker.
Fredrik Söderberg lives and works in Berlin and Stockholm and was educated at the University College of Arts, Stockholm 1995-2000 and at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2002. He participates in the group exhibition The Drawing Room in Magasin 3, Stockholm, which runs until 14 December 2014. 2013 his exhibition Jag är den som begraver gudar i guld och ädelstenar was presented in Galleri Riis Oslo. In 2011 he had a solo exhibition at the Historical Museum in Stockholm. 2010 he participated in the group exhibition Nordic Delight at the Swedish Institute in Paris and the same year he exhibited at Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall. He is represented in the collections of the Moderna Museet and Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall.