Sture Johannesson: Counterclockwise Circumambulation

Sture Johannesson: Counterclockwise Circumambulation

Lunds konsthall

May 28, 2004

Sture Johannesson
Counterclockwise Circumambulation

29 May – 22 August 2004

Lund Konsthall
Martenstorget 3,
SE-220 02 Lund
Phone: +46 46 355295
Fax: +46 46 184521
lundskonsthall [​at​]

Press preview: 12.00 a.m., May 28, 2004

The exhibition “Counterclockwise Circumambulation”, which opens on May 29 at Lund Konsthall, is Sture Johannesson’s first major solo exhibition, which we have had to wait more than thirty-five years for. That it is Lund Konsthall that hosts it is all the more fun and important because of the close connection between Lund Konsthall and the story of a promising artist who fell out with the people in power, and who never got the chance to establish himself on the art scene. Instead Sture Johannesson had to find other ways to give vent to his creativity and new thinking.

The exhibition should be regarded as a coherent installation that extends across the premises of Lund Konsthall and which contains both new and old works by Sture Johannesson. The starting point is a discussion that began in 1968 and which includes the artist’s poster for the exhibition “Underground” that was going to open at Lund Konsthall then. The motif of the poster was thought so provocative that it was banned. And not only that: as a consequence the exhibition did not even open, the then director chose to resign, Lund Konsthall had to stay closed for many months and Sture Johannesson disappeared from the art scene. With “Counterclockwise Circumambulation” we close the circle and the events of that time are seen in today’s light.

Now the poster that has come to be called “The Hashish Girl” is a real classic. Sture Johannesson is also obtaining redress as an artist, and is more in demand than ever, with both coming national and international commissions. There is a great interest in the art of the 1960s and early ’70s, and both from established and young artists who represent social and political engagement in art. Sture Johannesson is an important precursor in this regard and an ardent proponent for making the art scene a place where freedom of speech is cherished and the complex subjects in the politicised reality of art are brought to the fore.

The exhibition stretches over four decades and shows examples of a many-faceted, biting, uncompromising and visually sophisticated oeuvre. Sture Johannesson is an example of the artist as a public debater, and his principal means of expression has been the poster, in relation to which he is the master of both intricate visual and textual play. Sture Johannesson has also produced photo and film works with a more documentary character, and in the 1970s he proved to be a pioneer in computer graphics. In the period 1966-69, Sture Johannesson also run Gallery Cannabis at Lugnet in Malmo, and as child of his time he arranged both peace-ins, love-ins and smoke-ins in the city parks. Over the years Sture Johannesson has collaborated with a number of well-known names in the art world, new electronics world and music world, elements that will all be brought to bear on the exhibition.

As a guide to the diverse material in the exhibition, we recommend the catalogue, which is more of an artist book than a conventional catalogue, as Sture Johannesson has both been its pictorial and textual editor and its graphic designer. The texts provide a rich and varied picture of the artist and his oeuvre, comprising both new and old texts. If it was not clear before, it should be by now, that when art, or better, the art world crops up, opinions are divided and feelings run high, something also means that art is an urgent subject that not only engages and touches people, but that it is also important for the right to think and express oneself freely. And now it is Sture Johannesson’s turn to take the floor.

We wish you welcome!

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Lunds konsthall
May 28, 2004

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