06 March – 29 March 2021
Galleri Frihamnstorget is very pleased to present The Origin of Knowledge by the French artist Alex Colard (b.1985). The exhibition features new work made during 2021, and marks Colard’s first immersive experience. For over two decades, painter Alex Colard has conjured often large-scale, imaginative scenes with exuberant immediacy, depicting calligraphy, architecture, and concepts of pure invention.
During this global health crisis in early 2020, Colard was introduced to group meditation and sharing meetings. He went to gather with strangers who became his friends, almost every evening for one year. They sat down in a circle, closed their eyes for twenty minutes, and just decided to be present. After that, they opened up about their lives, expressed their emotions with words, listened, and connected to each other. Since then Colard has had many realizations: how interconnected we all are, how crucial but also significant every action we take is, and the potential ripple effects. He understood many things about himself, others, and the universe. After six months, he had a spiritual awakening, continued his quest for meaning through the lens of ancient cultures, past civilizations, and contemporary concepts. In this immersive experience, the viewer is traveling inside a blood vessel and sees the secret genetic code that unites us all. His work reflects ideas of community, development, and modern-day culture. Colard skillfully merges group meditation and holds these up as a mirror and a model for contemporary issues of politics and society.
When standing in front of Colard’s paintings, we can see the signs, symbols, and glyphs are formed by similar painterly gestures, with his various curves weaving their way across the surfaces to create his unique lyrical worlds. In Colard’s symbolism, conceptual paintings, the artist plays with the idea that we are merely a projection of the past and our current reality does not, in fact, exist. Instead, we are an imaginary future scenario being played out, with the quick, thick-matte washes acting as representations of this idea. This means that Colard can never truly plan a painting, instead, the artist starts with the simple wish to create a clear idea of a concept that strikes him. Each symbol in The Origin of Knowledge is wrapped in a mesmerizing combination of shapes dancing and morphing with ephemeral black and grey flashes.
Colard’s artworks draw upon eternal affairs as often and as fluidly as they borrow from the imagery of classical spirituality and calligraphy to create expansive imaginary places. He animates these complex narratives with a swirling, and energetic hand that moves the audience into seeing how dream images can come together from the things we have seen, read, and experienced. Special thank you to: Immanuel Rein (immanuelrein.com); Sero Devaryq (atelierplasma.com); Hara Alonso (haraalonso.com); Ben Hearn (Instagram: _ben.english); Vladimir Perez (Instagram: vlad90y); Cecilia Ulfsdotter Klementsson (ceciliaklementsson.com)
Colard (b .1985, France, lives and works in Sweden) received his interior design degree from Parsons The New School New York, and studied art at Ecole Bellecour, Lyon. Selected exhibitions include: Renaissance, Saxess, Stockholm (2021); Samlingsutställning, Gallery Rääf, Stockholm (2020); Abstrakt, Betong Gallery, Stockholm (2020); Färgglada Abstrakta Personligheter, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2020); Couleur, Joie et Amour, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2020); First Attempt at a Monotheistic Religion, Lugo Gallery, Stockholm (2019); Psycho: Reflexions of a knife, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2019); Hewlett Packard Collaboration, Print on Demand, The Lobby, Stockholm (2018); Crown Jewels for Everyone, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2018); Cardinal Gemstone Horses, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2018); Polar Animals: Charity Exhibition for WWF, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2018); Blidösund-Swedish Steamboats Giclées, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2018); Storskär-The Saturation of your Aura, Gallery Engleson, Stockholm (2017); Goldsmith, New York, United States (2016).