Ebba Matz

At Night
May 7 - September 27 2015

It is with great pleasure that Carl Eldh's Studio Museum presents Ebba Matz’ exhibition At Night during the summer season of 2015. Entering Carl Eldh’s light-filled studio, with hundreds of white sculptures sharing the space with sculptor tools, furniture and odd objects, is an unreal, almost magical feeling. It is like stepping into a dream in which time is standing still. Matz takes this feeling as a starting point and has asked herself what happens in the museum at night when the sculptures are alone. She is preoccupied with imagining what the many anony­mous, somewhat dreamy women in various composi­tions do when no one else is looking. Through Matz’ subtle additions Eldh’s models are engaged; a gentle rain falls in front of Seated Girl, the spirit Ariel attempts to capture some moths, Eve is watching a glittering stone and Innocence eyes a row of bluish ink bottles.

Ebba_Matz_Spegelbild_Reflection_U._Joren.jpgReflections, dislocations and recurrences are significant in Ebba Matz’ work. In Reflection the glass lens in the hands of the sculpture gives an unexpected perspective, as does the crystal ball in Daydream. Also the elements play a major role. To the “fire” (Eldh) of the museum, Matz inserts water, air and earth. With small, precise dislocations, the artist makes these robust references slip away and become elusive. The work is reminiscent of dream sensations or memory images from the unconscious. They appear in a flash of total clarity to leave enigmatic traces behind when they vanish. The enigmatic is a constituent part of the everyday. Just like when public sculptures are sometimes dressed in clothing, Ebba Matz actuates something within the women in Eldh’s studio; they come alive and start mov­ing. The result is both poetic and slightly comic: the vividness makes the women’s nudity as dissonant as it is pleasurable.

Phenomena of different kinds are also recurring in Ebba Matz’ work. In the installation Phosphène, we are met by the light of twinkling stars in all the colors of the rainbow. This piece is inspired by the optical phenomenon characterized by the experience of seeing star-like lights that are not caused by light actually entering the eye. The easiest way to create phosphenes is by pressing palms against one’s closed eyes. Ebba_Matz_Phosphene_U._Joren.jpgThe stars are to be found in Between Dusk and Dawn as well, a public work of art made for Henry Dunker’s square in Helsingborg (1999). On this public space the artist has reversed the conditions and brought the starry sky to the ground. In Eldh’s studio the visitor gets a sense of soaring among stars, like in a dream, with a midnight blue sky beneath the feet.

Ebba Matz(born 1963) studied at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Since her debut in 1992, she has exhibited throughout the country, from Umeå to Ystad, and in many parts of Europe, as well as Tunisia, Canada, and the United States. Her many solo exhibitions include Duchamp, Babitz & Matz, Cecilia Hillström Gallery, Stockholm (2014), On moons, maps and butterflies, with Katrin von Maltzahn, Konstverein Tiergarten, Galerie Nord, Berlin, Germany (2012), and Sealed, Galerie Aronowitsch, Stockholm (2010). Matz has also participated in nume­rous group exhibitions, such as urSinnen, Färgfabriken, Stockholm (2014), PARK 12, Museiparken, Karlstad (2012), À travers un cercle de regards, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (2010), and Man Machine II, Swedish National Museum of Science and Technology, Stockholm (2007).

Here at Wavrinsky’s Square in Gothenburg (2006) is one of Ebba Matz’ most famous public works (replicated in Kumla in 2008). She is also the artist behind Déjà vu at Dragarbrunn Square in Uppsala (2010), Dance Pavilion, Greenhouse and Stairs in Kristineberg Castle Park in Stockholm (2013), and Spark and Thorn at St. Johannesplan in Malmö (2014). Matz is currently working on a public commission for the new Royal College of Music in Stockholm.

Ebba_Matz_U._Joren.jpgEbba Matz is represented at institutions including Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Gothenburg Museum of Art, and Malmö Art Museum. She has received several grants and awards, such as the Academy of Fine Arts studio scholarship to Paris, Swedish Visual Arts Fund’s ten-year working grant, and the Friends of Moderna Museet Sculpture Award. In 2007, Matz became a member of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

In connection to the exhibition a bilingual catalog (in Swedish and English) is produced with an essay by Milou Allerholm, art critic and lecturer at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. An artist talk between Ebba Matz and Milou Allerholm took place in the museum on June 3.

For more information on Ebba Matz, please visit her website and Cecilia Hillström Gallery.

See Aktuellt for exhibition reviews (in Swedish only).

This exhibition was made possible through the generous support of Pontus Bonnier and The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation. Funding for the accompaying publication was provided by The Royal Patriotic Society.

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Closed November-March.

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