Nathalia Edenmont: Force of Nature
September 11, 2014 - October 25, 2014
Nathalia Edenmont’s first United States solo exhibition of monumental photographs, “Force of Nature,” inaugurates the Fall season at Nancy Hoffman Gallery, opening on September 11th and continuing through October 25th.
Edenmont was born in Yalta, and moved to Sweden by the time she was 20, realizing that life in the Soviet Union was disintegrating and held no future for her. Sweden was a country to which she could easily get a visa, being alone in the world after the age of 14, when both her parents had died and she had no other relatives.
At 27, she was accepted to Forsberg Skola, to study graphic design, where an artist mentor encouraged her to visualize her inner pictures and try to capture them with the camera. It is thanks to Per Huttner that Nathalia is the photo-based artist she is today.
All of her work derives from her life experience. She says: “I only look inside my head. What I see in my mind is what I create. I do not sketch; the image is complete and sharp within me. I have absolute control over all aspects of what I do.” Using a large format Sinar camera with 8x10 film and many lenses, she works with a team of eight to twelve people over ten to twelve hours to compose a “shot.” She has two camera assistants, both professional photographers, a hair stylist, a dressmaker, but it is Nathalia who is at the camera, communicating, talking with the model, waiting for the perfect instant to capture the model’s soul on film. Her themes are: time, beauty, fragility, death, metamorphosis, transformation. Beauty is the armor that surrounds the women she photographs, many of them blonde, as most Swedes are blonde; others have Nathalia’s red tresses and are a stand-in for the artist at different ages. What each figure wears is central to the meaning of each work. The artist’s “portraits” reflect intensity, each woman stands against a pitch-black background, expressionless, robed in flowers revealing only her neck and shoulders; light emanates from within. It is the “flower pile” or dress the artist composes that tells the tale, sometimes with birds or snakes, some times with fresh flowers, at others with wilted blooms.
Nathalia says: “Since my childhood I have heard that woman’s beauty is like a flower, it passes quickly. That is why I switch from fresh flowers to dry and very old. I see much beauty in dried flowers. I grew up as a Russian Orthodox and in the cemetery the fresh graves covered in flowers looked like my flower piles from which I compose my dresses.”
In this exhibition are two parallel themes: figurative tableaux or portraits, and butterfly images captured after 500 hours of the artist composing collages of rare moths and butterflies. She takes the splendid specimens apart and works with the wings to make an abstract painting, magnifying the original collage in scale with her camera. While there are two themes, they converge in use of color; the compilation of wings parallels the compilation of flowers, colors overlap. Like flowers that wilt in a few days,
butterflies have a short life span of two to three days. Nathalia’s collages and photographs keep the butterflies alive forever, the ultimate symbol of transformation.
Nathalia Edenmont was born in Yalta, Ukraine in 1970.
The artist’s exhibition at Nancy Hoffman Gallery is the first solo show of her work in the United States. Her work has been shown widely in Sweden at Alingsås konsthall, Alingsås; Borås Konstmuseum, Borås; Galerie Leger, Malmö; Galleri Mors Mössa Gothenburg; Galleri Stocksellius, Skövde; Halmstads Konsthall, Halmstad; Konsthallen Hishult, Hishult; Kristinehamns konstmuseum, Kristinehamn; Örnsköldsviks Museum, Örnsköldsvik; Sven-Harrys konstmuseum, Stockholm; and Wetterling Gallery, Stockholm and Gothenburg. She has also shown at Aida Gallery, Moscow, Russia; Backfabrik, Berlin, Germany; B&D Studio Contemporanea, Milan, Italy; Galerie Forsblom, Helsinki, Finland; Galerie Hafenrichter & Flügel, Nuremberg, Germany; Galerie Terminus, Munich, Germany; Gallery Eighty, Singapore; Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke, Belgium; Institute suédois a Paris, France; Park Ryu Sook Gallery, Seoul, South Korea.
She was twice a recipient of Konstnärsnämndens Arbetsstipendium, awarded by the Culture Department, Stockholm, Sweden.
Her work is included in the collections of Borås Konstmuseum, Borås, Sweden; Kristinehamns konstmuseum, Kristinehamn, Sweden; Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; Moscow House of Photography, Moscow, Russia; Statens konstråd (Public Art Agency Sweden), Stockholm, Sweden; Whitespace, The Mordes Collection, West Palm Beach, Florida; and 21c Museum, Louisville, Kentucky.
For further information and/or photographs please call 212-966-6676 or email Nancy Hoffman Gallery at firstname.lastname@example.org