April 19, 2013 - Moderna Museet - Moment – Ulla Wiggen
April 19, 2013

Moment – Ulla Wiggen

Ulla Wiggen, Trask, 1967. © Ulla Wiggen/BUS 2012.

13 April–25 August, 2013

Moderna Museet
Skeppsholmen, Stockholm



Ulla Wiggen’s uniquely terse oeuvre was spawned in an era when technology and machines were worshipped, when cybernetics was being discovered and new genres such as pop art and minimalism were gaining territory. Between 1963 and 1969, she made some 30 paintings, most of which depict the innards of various electronic appliances. These works, with titles like Channel Selector, Magnetic Memory, Resistor, objectively get under the skin of the looming digital world, but are also aesthetic explorations on the boundary between realism and abstraction.

Or, as Wiggen says, “I am fascinated by how things are put together, how they are linked and interdependent. People fascinate me too.”

Ulla Wiggen made her debut in 1968, while still at the Royal Institute of Art (1967–72), and she participated the same year in the seminal exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity. The Computer and the Arts at the ICA in London, and Public Eye at Kunsthaus in Hamburg. She was also assistant to Öyvind Fahlström in New York, where she mixed with the artist community and took part in Fahlström’s performance Kisses Sweeter than Wine organised by E.A.T. Experiments in Art and Technology.

From the late 1970s, Ulla Wiggen has primarily been working as a psychotherapist. This probably explains why she has evaded the historiographical radar for so long. Another reason could be that her oeuvre touches on many of the coordinates that are often referred to in an attempt to “understand” art history—the machine theme, pop, minimalism, new objectivity, photo-realism—but without embracing them. Her art always becomes something else, something vibrantly present in the here and now.

Moment – Ulla Wiggen is her first solo show since 1995. Last autumn, her works were featured in the exhibition Ghosts in the Machine at the New Museum in New York.


Moment – Ulla Wiggen at Moderna Museet, Stockholm
Moderna Museet
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