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Per Enoksson, On the Earth You Play


Derek Eller Gallery
615 West 27th Street, 212-206-6411
March 23 - April 21, 2007
Reception: Friday, March 23, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

In his work, Per Enoksson creates a modern twist on the traditional patterns and motifs of his ancestral heritage. Born and raised in Tärnaby in the North of Sweden into a family working with traditional handicraft, Enoksson’s aesthetic is strongly influenced by the Sami arts he was brought up with. The playful figures and geometric fields of minimal symmetric shapes of the Sami tradition reemerge in his work abstracted and integrated into contemporary narratives. The oversized heads of the figures and brightly colored animals are darkened by large hollow eye cavities, and the colorful forms that surround them are interspersed with shapes that resemble modern buildings and roads. The ambiguous landscapes that result are imbued with a desultory magic in which contradictorily depicted characters and forms interact. A reindeer’s head can peer over it’s shoulder, transforming a human face into the animal’s body, animal horns can sprout out of castle turrets, and background designs crisscross haphazardly in front and behind the figures that inhabit their foreground.

Enoksson’s creatures combine with their landscapes so that horizons, mountains, built structures, abstract forms and geometrical patterns intertwine. A house can be both contained within a person and hold a person inside itself. In this way, every image is animate, folding over or into itself to reveal it’s own complexity. Nature plays a dominant role as subject, obscuring the line between the built and the natural form. There is, despite the inherent humor in his work and the cartoon-like quality of some of his renderings, something deeply disturbing about his imagery. The works confront the viewer with discomfiting juxtapositions that illustrate a struggle to create continuity between shifting cultures and inconsonant eras.
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