Tuesday, March 09, 2010

exhibition: Lars Lerin


In the weekend I went to see the big Lars Lerin exhibition at Borås Art Museum. Lars Lerin is a very popular Swedish artist working in big format watercolours. When teaching I use him as an example of how to work with landscapes in a more interesting way. Many of my watercolour students had already seen the exhibition and had been totally enchanted.

I wasn't. I've been aware of Lars Lerin and his work for many years and have seen his painting in real life before. This exhibition featured quite a few weaker art pieces and some uninteresting etchings. Lars Lerin is totally mastering the media of watercolour and I think it is a pity that he isn't using his virtuosity to do something more interesting. His paintings haven't evolved much the last 15 years. The subject is the same more or less - and so is the form. He has some paintings where he is sniffing on something that could lead somewhere more interesting (like the paper cut snowflakes), but he doesn't go there in the end. I wonder why? Doesn't he have the capacity or interest - or is he afraid to lose the admiration of the common people?

I had hoped to see some exploration of watercolour as a media, or the formal elements of his motives (he is at his best when he is on the border to abstraction - like in the photo I post here with all the small paintings mounted together) - or him getting into another subject (like for example further exploring the possibility of other cultures meeting the Nordic in the landscape - like in the painting of the Persian carpet). Looking at the photos I post here I get a better impression than from the exhibition - I made a selection! And this is a good reminder to myself: only show your very best work. You will be judged by the weakest art piece you exhibit.

detail



13 comments:

aimee said...

to each their own! to me this is the fun part about art - everyone is entitled to an opinion and it often differs wildly from that of the next person. i like that you encourage a range of diverse thinking in your classroom.

gracia said...

"And this is a good reminder to myself: only show your very best work. You will be judged by the weakest art piece you exhibit."

Yes, this is true. Sometimes it is also very hard to see. I am guilty of putting it ALL in, I think, so this is a very good reminder for me.

Veja cecilia said...

ah, bitskt och välformulerat. intressant och läsvärt. Känner lukten av bra konstrecensent! Ses i eftermiddag!

Aris said...

I love your honesty.

caramela said...

I am struggling with this idea now too. The space I will exhibit is quite large and my work is small- do I put 'older' work in there too to 'cover space' or do I just put up what I am most proud of? Love your discussions of these things-
Annamaria ;)

marie-louise said...

Åhh, vad jag tycker om Lars Lerins målningar...Åhhh

●• Thereza said...

the bit 'only show your best work...' is very true... i'm learning this lesson.

Esti said...

I agree with gracia; I need such a reminder. Defenitely.

Esti said...

I agree with gracia; I need such a reminder. Defenitely.

Esti said...

I agree with gracia; I need such a reminder. Defenitely.

nathalie et cetera said...

je suis d'accord, ne montrer que son meilleur travail, sauf si c'est d'une rétrospective où on explique la démarche de l'artiste. J'ai beaucoup les petits formats sur la dernière photo. Est-ce que ce sont toutes des aquarelles ou il y a des photos parmi les images?

Alexandra Hedberg said...

Seulement des aquarelle, mais il travaille après des photo - et il n'essaye pas le cacher!

Anonymous said...

That was a rather snotty and condescending comment.