Obsolescence by Ulla-Stina Wikander
Posted on September 07 2019
Paradigm Gallery + Studio is pleased to present Obsolescence, a solo exhibition by Sweden-based artist Ulla-Stina Wikander. The artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, Obsolescence, features new works from Wikander’s well-known series of household objects covered in colorful, vintage embroideries. Obsolescence will have a public opening reception on October 25 from 5:30 - 10:00pm.
Wikander began collecting vintage embroideries 15 years ago in antique stores and flea markets, initially attracted to the intricate designs of needlework textiles. Although Wikander was traditionally trained as a painter and sculptor, the unknown histories of the women who made the embroideries interested her and she began experimenting with her new collection. Wikander’s earliest experimentation with textile began with covering a broken vacuum cleaner she had laying around in her home. Through a meticulous process of deconstruction and reassembly, she transformed the anachronistic tool into something visually absorbing and entirely new, giving the vacuum a new reason to exist. Although not all of the objects Wikander covers are broken, they’re all out-dated. Through Wikander’s process, these retro items are transformed and recycled into fully contemporary sculptures.
On her practice Wikander says, “It is rather new for me to be a part of the textile community because I have always regarded myself as a painter and sculptor. While I do not embroider myself, I am always very meticulous when I choose my patterns. Embroidery is very hard to find nowadays, so I often travel to small towns in Sweden to find them. I have a big collection with hundreds of embroideries, organized into boxes by motif. I do not know if it is accepted among textile artists, to cut embroideries into pieces, but I think my work is a bit different. I always have a bad feeling that I am destroying a beautiful embroidery that someone else has made, but the recycling of something forgotten also feels current and good”.
The latest artworks included in Wikander’s Obsolescence exhibition are suffused with humor and critical explorations of feminism, domesticity, and upcycling. Her intricate textile constructions are shaped by the forms that lie underneath – including irons, blow dryers, shoes, bags, lamps, books, and phones. Freshly adorned in coverings of flowers, animals, and pastoral scenes, the items transcend their former functionality and are simultaneously revelatory and recognizable. Wikander’s vibrant reappropriations are evocative formal studies that defy categorization and illicit equal parts dissonance and delight.
Friday, October 25th • 5:30pm - 10:00pm
Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays • 12:00pm – 6:00pm
And 7 days a week by appointment: firstname.lastname@example.org / (267)266-0073
Paradigm Gallery + Studio / 746 S. 4th Street, 1st Floor / Philadelphia, PA 19147
About Ulla-Stina Wikander
Ulla-Stina Wikander was born 1957 in Kungälv. She is currently living in Stockholm/Kullavik, Sweden and has been working as an artist since 1986. Wikander has shown extensively around the world in solo and group exhibitions including shows in the United States, Sweden and the UK.
Paradigm Gallery + Studio® exhibits contemporary artwork from around the world with a focus on Philadelphia-based artists. Established February 2010, the gallery began as a project between co-founders and curators, Jason Chen and Sara McCorriston, as a space in which to create artwork, to exhibit the work of their peers, and to invite the members of the community to create and collect in a welcoming gallery setting. To this day the gallery still aims to welcome all collectors, from first time to lifelong, and continues to support accessible work that welcomes a wide audience.
Location: 746 S 4th St Philadelphia, PA 19147
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