September 5, 2018 - Bonniers Konsthall - New Materialism
September 5, 2018

Bonniers Konsthall

Éva Mag, Embossment – Point lace, 2018. Textiles in artist’s frame (plexi, wood and aluminum), 91.5 x 121.5 x 5 cm. Photo: Jean-Baptiste Béranger.

New Materialism
September 5–November 11, 2018

Bonniers Konsthall
Torsgatan 19
SE-113 90 Stockholm

T +46 8 736 42 48
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Participating artists: Tonico Lemos Auad, Andrea Büttner, Andreas Eriksson, Theaster Gates, Petrit Halilaj, Katrine Helmersson, Sheila Hicks, Abdoulaye Konaté, Ellen Lesperance, Éva Mag, Britta Marakatt-Labba, Lee Mingwei and Francis Upritchard

Curator Magnus af Petersens, Co-curator Caroline Elgh Klingborg

Bonniers Konsthall proudly presents the large autumn exhibition, New Materialism. Here, 13 artists who work within textile, clay, wood and ceramics are gathered in a show where performative aspects and process-oriented works are provided extensive space, through installations and workshops. The exhibition pays attention to the increasing interest within the contemporary art field in crafts as a method and material, and presents new names amongst internationally acclaimed artists.

Conceptual art and crafts have long been viewed upon as opposites on a spectrum of high and low, a polarity that today appears increasingly obsolete. 

The exhibition pays attention to the practice of contemporary artists and highlights questions regarding consumption and production, as well as concerning our longing for something tactile and physical in a digital era. A number of works shown have been unfolded from collective practices and transfers of knowledge; highlighting a process that is often reserved for the artist’s studio, that here resides in the gallery.

"The works in the exhibition New Materialism show that the distinction between form and content is hard to maintain and that the content also comes out of the material and is not just communicated through it. Physicality and tactility are realities that we apparently neither want to nor are able to disregard." –Magnus af Petersens, director and curator

Some of the participating artists, such as Éva Mag, Lee Mingwei, Ellen Lesperance and Theaster Gates, create works that unfold and transform during the exhibition period, through collaborations with volunteering visitors, apprentices and paid craftsmen. Here, the participation is a crucial part of the work and a prerequisite for its realization.

Katerine Helmersson and Abdoulaye Konaté, as well as Francis Upritchard and Tonico Lemos Auad, have made artworks that relate to amulets; objects and materials carrying magical qualities. Here, similarities to many new-materialist ideas can be found; materials appear almost alive, constantly changing and continuously becoming. An idea concerning the material that is aligned with animism; the belief that nature is animated. 

In Andrea Büttner, Andreas Eriksson, Petrit Halilaj, Sheila Hicks and Britta Marakatt-Labbas works, the material provides a point of departure from which personal and collective memories and histories are highlighted. It concerns matters such as the memory of a material, the journey of a material between different countries or contexts, and the adaptation of a material performed by different hands—or about the human memory and how stories can be told, modified and developed through different techniques such as knitting, weaving, tailoring, clay and ceramics. Here, the sensuous, tactile and inherent qualities of the works are emphasized.

An extensive exhibition catalogue has been produced in collaboration with the book publisher Art and Theory Publishing. Alongside a wide range of images and essays by the curators, the catalogue also offers texts by writers such as Sofia Victorino, Head of Education and Public Programmes, Whitechapel Gallery, and Monika Wagner, professor emerita, who writes about modern and contemporary art with a particular focus on the semantics of materials.

Program highlights
Wednesday, September 12, 6pm, and Saturday, September 22, 2pm
The artist Éva Mag, in collaboration with the dancer Ellinor Tollerz Bratteby, activates the work ‘Stand up. I said stand up.

Wednesday, October 17, 6pm
NyMaterialism: Lecture and talk
An evening about contemporary practices that explores crafts, materiality and processes of materials, in relation to theories of new-materialism. Participants: Susanne Witzgall, Director of the cx centre for interdisciplinary studies at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich and Editor of the book Power of Material/politics of Materiality, Brazilian artist Tonico Lemos Auad who is exhibited in the show and Mårten Medbo, ceramicist, glass artist and Doctor of Arts and Crafts.

View the full program at

Bonniers Konsthall
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