Cecilia Hillstrom Gallery – Katja Larsson – New Neo Classics – May 19 to June 18, 2022 – Hudiksvallsgatan 8, 2nd floor – Open Tuesday–Friday 11–18, Saturday 12–16 and by appointment.
ABOUT the artists
Katja Larsson (b. 1987) is a Swedish artist based in London. She graduated from The Slade School of Fine Art in 2015 and received her BA(Hons) from The Glasgow School of Art in 2013. The same year she was selected for the Saatchi New Sensations exhibition at Victoria House, London.
Larsson’s work has since been exhibited during National Sculpture Prize, Devon, CHART, Copenhagen, MARKET, Stockholm, UCL Art Museum, and Kristin Hjellegjerde, London. In 2017 she was awarded the EIB Institute’s residency Representing the Anthropocene and in 2018 she was presented at Borås Konstmuseum in the exhibition SNITTET. She is represented by Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Stockholm, with her most recent solo show Mythologies in 2019. In 2020, Larsson’s work was featured during The Armory Show as a solo presentation with Aicon Contemporary, and the exhibition Shapeshifters at Malmö Konstmuseum. Larsson is currently working on a public sculpture for Uppsala, Sweden, and two upcoming solo exhibitions in 2022.
Larsson is represented in the collections of Malmö Konstmuseum, Public Art Agency Sweden, Stockholm County Council, Knivsta and Örebro Municipality, Ståhl Collection, Stockholm School of Economics, AxFast AB and European Investment Bank as well as private collections.
ABOUT the exhibitions
We are pleased to present Katja Larsson’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, New Neo Classics featuring new sculptures in bronze and Jesmonite. Known for her material and tactile sensitivity, Katja Larsson imbues her sculptures with a real sense of physical presence. With skilful precision, Larsson presents us with objects acting as hybrids of past and present, allowing us to reflect on contemporary society whilst revealing the archaeology of knowledge embedded in the world around us.
After her acclaimed exhibition Mythologies (2019), Katja Larsson returns with New Neo Classics, a series of sculptures made using entirely new technical processes, exploring an expanded set of themes. First exhibited during Armory Off-Site in Hudson River Park in NYC, New Neo Classics examines classical references found in contemporary apparel, from Fred Perry’s laurels to the gorgon heads of Versace. Entering the exhibition at the gallery the stage is set – two actors, cast as Julius Caesar, stand in the midst of a crowd. Larger than life baseball caps cast in bronze, emblazoned with aspirational messages of empowerment and classical symbols of virtue and glory, surround the pair like pieces on a chessboard. In a play with form, language and materiality, Larsson has transformed these hats into what they aspire to be; larger than life ideas of self and society.
Julius Caesar marked the end of the Republic of Rome and the beginning of imperial rule. He made sure to spread his image far and wide, his statues distributed across the Roman world. His signature laurel wreath, originally the symbol of Apollo, until this day repeatedly regurgitated and appropriated by anyone in need of a victorious outcome. Accused by the Republic of kinglike behaviour, the Ides of March brought an end to Ceasar’s life and rule, but the logotype symbolism of Julius Caesar’s brand of imperialism never went away.
In Larsson’s cast of characters, Caesar is represented twice, embodied by two actors in the shape of two contemporary Roman busts, his telltale signifiers embedded in their modern-day attire. Through these sculptures, Larsson poses an essential question; What is power, and how is it obtained? Can we dress in bold, regal messages, and become the Kings and Queens these proclaim us to be? Or is the laurel wreath on a King Apparel cap™ the closest most of us will ever come to Reign Supreme, to being Materially Superior?
The exhibition is accompanied by an in-depth text by Richard Müller. Read the text here.
An artist talk with Katja Larsson & Charlotte Gyllenhammar took place on Saturday 21 May. View the talk here.
ABOUT the gallery
Cecilia Hillström Gallery was founded in 2012 in the gallery district at Hudiksvallsgatan in Stockholm and is owned and managed by Cecilia Hillström. The gallery represents both well-established and emerging artists, who have been represented by the gallery throughout their careers. Having recently relocated to a larger space, Cecilia Hillström Gallery may now present parallel exhibitions.
Gallery artists work in a variety of media; painting, photography, sculpture, video or interdisciplinary projects. A focus on the artistic process, strong contextual ambitions and inherent materiality are key components of the artists’ practice. Cecilia Hillström has successfully launched emerging Swedish artists. At the same time, it represents artists who over their careers have exhibited at prominent Nordic institutions such as Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Malmö Art Museum, Kunsthall Trondheim, Norway, as well as at institutions such as Whitechapel Gallery, London, Museu de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro, Walker art Center, Minneapolis, PS1 and Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York.
The gallery frequently arranges artist talks and seminars and co-produces artist books and other publications in connection with its exhibitions.
The gallery does not take responsibility for unsolicited artist submissions.