Gallery Duerr – Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson – The Power of the Pose – Hudiksvallsgatan 6 – Open Tuesday–Friday: 11–6 pm, Saturday: 12–4 pm
ABOUT the artist
What happens when men pose as women and women pose as men? Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementson continues to ask that question in her second show with the gallery where she uses the power of the pose to identify and deconstruct gender roles and imagine a future where gender is obsolete.
The artist is showing her latest paintings from London following her degree show at the Royal College of Art this past spring. Cecilia has been praised for painting layers of nude figures, using one colour at a time, allowing it to dry before adding the next. Each layer leaves traces of previous layers. She also circles where shadows begin and end, rather than filling them in with regular hatching techniques that use closely spaced parallel lines to create shading effects.
By revealing the entire process to the viewer and leaving part of the painting unfinished, the underlying drawing shows through. Metaphorically speaking, Ulfsdotter Klementsson is asking what constitutes skin — and gender. It’s a thought-provoking question.
Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson is a Swedish artist currently based in London. https://www.ceciliaklementsson.com/
ABOUT the exhibition
I paint naked drag in flesh layers. Naked Drag is gender subversive poses posed by naked bodies, using the power of the pose alone to both identify and deconstruct gender roles. The poses pose the inevitable question: what happens when men are posed as the other, and when women are posed as men? I am interested in asking the question and provoking thought rather than supplying an ultimate answer. Although, my work aims to deconstruct gender roles, into an unimagined future where gender is obsolete. I coined the term Naked Drag in my dissertation at the Royal College of Art 2021. The dissertation was written on the power of the pose in contemporary and historical art to do the same thing – to both identify and deconstruct gender roles. In the dissertation, I looked at Judith Butler’s call for drag to expose gender for what it is – a performance. The parody and over-exaggeration reveals the gender roles, and the subversion of sexes shows that it can be performed by either sex. I believe everyone is non-binary, beneath the construction of gender. The project Naked Drag started in 2014 at the end of my Bachelor at Curtin University in Perth, Australia. I took iconic nude poses from fashion advertising, and made my models pose the same way as those images, only that I subverted the gender, so I would have male identified models posing after female nude fashion images and vice versa. The patterns became clear when confronted with subversions – the female poses seductive but passive, male seductive but active. What I do differently now is that I let my models perform their own poses during the photoshoot, after asking them to find their own inner drag persona. It is a way for me to loosen control of the process, let the models take a larger part of the shape of the artwork and give them their own agency. Flesh layers come from the process and materiality of my painting practice. I paint with layers of 4 colours, and I apply one layer with one colour at a time and let it dry before I add the next. Each layer is leaving traces of the previous layers and the underlying drawing sipping through. In revealing the process to the viewer and leaving part of the painting unfinished, I reveal the skeleton of the painting – the underlying drawing. I deconstruct what painting of skin is made of and also, metaphorically, what skin is made of as layer by layer of pure colour is peeled away. Furthermore, what gender is made of, as models perform a drag on the nude in classical painting. While part of the painting is rendered to the point of a hyperrealistic iridescent skin, other parts are stripped down to their bones. Except here there is no flesh and bones. Instead there is a drawing that reminds us of a map rather than the traditional drawing of a nude. I circle where the shadows begin and end rather than filling the shadows in with regular hatching techniques, just like a map encircles the corruption of the landscape – I circle the corruption of the body and all its ‘flaws’.
ABOUT the gallery
Founded 2008 by designer Deborah Duerr, Galleri Duerr believes art exhibitions are great ways to tell important stories of our time. With a clear vision of making contemporary art more accessible, Galleri Duerr, a member of Svenska Galleriförbundet since March 2020, focuses on intercultural meetings between different art forms, artists and generations—national and international, new and established. Since the gallery’s start, it has had an exhibition program focusing on contemporary painting, drawing, sculpture, photography and design, and is today a living forum for exhibitions and performances in various formats.
We are excited to welcome you to our new location at Hudiksvallsgatan 6, second floor, in the Stockholm Galleri District.
We are also a partner gallery on Artsy online resource for art collecting and education. Our vision is to exhibit in a variety of public spaces with interesting collaborations, always on the lookout for new and innovative ways to reach out.
Galleri Duerr was founded by Deborah Duerr, who studied graphic design at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. Before moving to Sweden in 1984, Deborah worked with design studios in San Francisco and New York. She is also a member of the board of Design Sweden and Svenska Galleriförbundet. With a passion for teaching, Deborah also started her own school offering art and design education for young people, and has taught at Forsbergs, Berghs School of Communication and Linnéuniversitet.