Loyal invites you to Subway Doves, a solo exhibition of new paintings by Stockholm artist Jim Thorell.
Just like text, the image is legible. While we more closely associate the former with reading, visual representation predates the written word by tens of thousands of years. Just like the caves of Maros-Pangkep karst in Indonesia–currently holding the tenuous position of “oldest known figurative art in the world”–conglomerate otherwise humble lines into grand narratives of wild beasts and megaflora, our languages continue to compress ideas into abstracted forms to expedite communication. At its barest of bones, how much has changed in our collective will to express?
Thorell architects a vector for the walls where art goes to hide so that it can be better seen. Among the swirling tempest of marks and sprays are grammatical symbols from scripts known and unknown peeking through curves themselves effaced or metamorphosed by the marks which follow. Anonymous, ambiguous, and buried, not unlike their artistic ancestors, though revered only in passing or when removed from the sort of place the common pigeon dwells. There is so much to be expressed in our world that no symbol is more or less precious than another. Red ochre reminiscent of ancient Lascaux is revealed through the artist’s hand as a catalyst of erosion, technicolor spirals dance into chaotic infinity, aquamarine landscapes shimmer atop bare birch; here, the coo of the void is embraced.
Like the written word, the image is legible. Texts, written or verbal, came to us long after the first images, as progeny in the ancestral tree of communication: as root to the tree to the exponentially finer branches, we represent what we experience. Words are strings of symbols with emergent meaning upon combination, as are sentences to words and on and on. Swedish artist Jim Thorell presents hybrid dreamlike worlds that delve between the figurative and the imaginative. Inspired by the concept of painting from throughout art history, his expressive palette conveys creative vitality as if filled with mythical beings, vegetation, and unusual shapes. On large canvases caked in wildly layered oil glyphs, Thorell’s swirling compositions combine the visual language of Symbolism and Surrealism with the contemporary language of cartoon and manga. His poetic images are visually stimulating, enticing the viewer to linger and examine the numerous motifs hidden in the works. Thorell studied art at institutions in Sweden, Vienna, Japan, and Hanoi before completing his MFA at Valand Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Subway Doves will be on view at Loyal on Odengatan 3 in Stockholm during gallery hours Thursday through Saturday from 12 to 4 pm and by appointment.