Steffen Dam & Micha Karlslund
3 Mar — 1 Apr 2017 at Leila Heller Gallery in New York, United States
Heller Gallery is pleased to present The Structure of Everything, an exhibition of a new collaboration between husband and wife Danish artists, Micha Karlslund and Steffen Dam. A 2015 Artist Residency at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA, was the impetus for their first joint body of work.
The Structure of Everything will present more than twenty glass cylinders the artists have used as three-dimensional canvases for their collages. To make the series, Dam and Karlslund developed a shared image library and translated it into glass powder decals.
The cylindrical form ensures that one sees the images in sequence and, when translucent, creates a layering effect allowing us to perceive multiple surfaces and images simultaneously. Each cylinder presents a cacophony of images, constructed so that at a glimpse it can resonate with transformative moments of visual clarity.
While the narrative and expressive form of these pieces is a natural continuation of Karlslund’s work, it is new in Dam’s. He is motivated by the challenges of the decal-making process and use of a glass surface. Recognizing that it lacks the spontaneity of a paper collage, he is intrigued by the transparency and variety of viewpoints the cylinders offer. For Dam the cylinders represent a continuation of his longtime fascination with the Wunderkammer - the 16th century idea of assembling an intellectual and physical microcosm of the world as the means of searching for such transformative knowledge and order. Karlslund describes them as ‘poems in solid form’ or ‘poetic statements about being’ and views them in the continuum of vessels as carriers of narratives, from Greek urns, decorated with scenes of life in antiquity to the extraordinary and outrageous vases of Grayson Perry.
Glass artist Micha Karlslund, has exhibited in her native Denmark and internationally since 1988. She has served as an external examiner at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and is a Board and Artistic Advisory Council member of the Ebeltoft Glass Museum. Her work is represented in the collection of the V&A Museum in London, England; Design Museum Denmark (Designmuseum Danmark) in Copenhagen, and the Office of Public Works, Collection of Farmleigh, Dublin, Ireland, as well as the private collection of Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and other private collections in Europe and the United States.
Steffen Dam is the recipient of the 2012 Rakow Commission from the Corning Museum of Glass. His work is included in collections of the Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY; the Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY; Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany; The Danish Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen, Denmark; The Chazen Museum, Madison, WI, and in prestigious public and private collections in the USA and Europe.
Dam and Karlslund share a studio and a home in Denmark.