Maria Miesenberger, Acceptans, 2014. Foto Urban Jörén.jpgMaria Miesenberger

Half an Angel
May 4 – October 1 2017

It is with great pleasure that Carl Eldh’s Studio Museum announces Maria Miesenberger’s exhibition Half an Angel. Miesenberger engages Eldh’s studio through the artistic process, not primarily through the craft itself, but through the creative environment where the artworks are made. There are artists who see their earlier work as a closed chapter, but Miesenberger continually returns to her past projects. She gathers them together in her studio, working in their company. They grow out of each other. In Eldh’s studio, which is populated by hundreds of sculptures, Miesenberger meets a like-minded artist. By placing her own work alongside Eldh’s – sometimes clearly, sometimes clandestinely – she brings us along on a journey through time and space. There will be as many sharp contrasts as seamless transitions.

Maria Miesenberger, Half an Angel, 2001. Foto Urban Jörén.jpgAnother similarity between the two artists is that both are interested in ambivalent states. In Maria Miesenberger's case it is often about finding different intermediate positions. An example is Half an Angel (2001), the golden sculpture that spins on its axis in Carl Eldh’s rotunda. The young body arcs one arm behind its head like a wing, literally half an angel.

Liminal figures have fascinated artists throughout the ages. Dawn and dusk, the day’s most portentous times, were common motifs in symbolism, an important reference for the young Carl Eldh. Another transitional state is adolescence, when the body approaches the border of adulthood while maintaining its innocence, a state Eldh attempted to capture in works such as Innocence (1900) and Youth (1911). Maria Miesenberger is also interested in youth. Children are a constant presence in her work, but where Eldh portrays boys and girls, Miesenberger lets the identity of her figures be ambiguous, almost androgynous. She brings a critical perspective on gender and sexuality to her work and disengages the exploration from pre-determined norms. Childhood and adolescence do not only figure as a lost time, but as a world of insurmountable obstacles and enormous possibilities to which we adults can continually return.

Something new this year is that the Maria Miesenberger, Stilla rörelse, modell b, 2012. Foto Urban Jörén.jpgexhibition includes Carl Eldh's studio garden. Poised to leap six meters to the ground, Maria Miesenberger’s sculpture Change of Direction (2015) looks down at its bronze companions below and lifts Eldh’s studio to new heights.

Maria Miesenberger(born 1965) studied at Konstfack in Stockholm and Parsons School of Design in New York. Since her debut in 1993 she has had some fifty solo exhibitions and participated in even more group exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. Notable solo exhibitions include Inside and Out – Where Now Meets Then, Läckö Castle, Lidköping (2016), Moment: Maria Miesenberger/Lars Norén, Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2014) and Presence of Time, Strandverket, Marstrand (2013). She has participated in group exhibitions such as Next: Utopia, Norrköping Art Museum (2016); Asylum – Where Fashion Meets Art, Stockholm House of Culture and City Theatre (2015); The Visible, Artipelag, Gustavsberg (2014); and Hell!, Liljevalchs, Stockholm (2011).

The eight-meter tall Half an Angel (2001) at Telenor’s headquarters in Oslo is one of Maria Miesenberger’s many public works. Other examples include Moment in Motion at Enskede Gård’s metro station in Stockholm (2014), Change of Direction at Restad Gård in Vänersborg, and Reflection on the Presence of Time at Kristinaskolan in Norrköping (both 2016). Miesenberger is currently working on an artistic design for Övre Vasastaden in Linköping and a memorial for Ebba Ramsey’s Park in Jönköping.

Maria Miesenberger is featured in the permanent collections of, among others, The Bonnier Group and Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Malmö Art Museum and Norrköping Art Museum, as well as the Buhl Collection in the United States. She Maria Miesenberger 2017. Foto Urban Jörén.jpghas also received a number of grants and awards. In 2015 Miesenberger was awarded the City of Stockholm honorary award in art and this year she received the Swedish Arts Grants Committee’s five-year working grant for the second time.

In connection to the exhibition a bilingual catalog is produced with an essay by art historian Elisabet Haglund. An artist talk (in Swedish) between Maria Miesenberger and Elisabet Haglund took place in the museum on June 1 at 6 pm.

For more information about the artist, please see Galleri Andersson/Sandström.

See Aktuellt for exhibition reviews (in Swedish only).

This exhibition is made possible through the generous support of Pontus Bonnier, the Swedish Arts Council, the Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation, the Royal Patriotic Society and Galleri Andersson/Sandström.

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