02 May 2019 – 04 August 2019
Ida Ekblad’s (Oslo, 1980) artworks draw on limitless source materials: Old Master painting, the textile industry, manga culture, venetian glass, deviant art, typography, Wiener Verkstatte, meme-culture, Scandinavian arts and crafts, Norwegian cast iron traditions, style-evolutions in clothes, faux-graffiti, vinyl cover-design, magazine clippings, poster culture. In addition comes a range of art historical influences such as Odilon Redon, Paula Modersohn Becker, Marie Laurencin, Paul Thek, Harriet Backer, Florine Stettheimer and Helen Frankenthaler.
Ida Ekblad thinks with her eyes. In the middle of our hyper-retinal whirl of a culture, she tries to visually record and make sense of her surroundings. «Whatever sense I find,» she says, «is primarily an aesthetic sense. In painting, sculpture and via material twists and turns, I am striving to make a personal and decent pattern of what happens to come my way.»
In her latest work, Ida Ekblad has focused on studying historic archives which detail the recovery of ancient crockery from sunken ships in Norway, as well as crochet pieces which she has included in her pictorial and sculptural work.
For her exhibition at the Museo Tamayo, entitled Blood Optics, Ida Ekblad created a new series of large-format paintings in which she uses bright colors and a technique that she calls Puff Paint (inflated textile paint), that has become her trademark. For this she uses industrial heaters inside her studio to make the plastic-based paint react to the heat and inflate until it creates a relief or 3D texture.
Meanwhile, in her sculptural work, Ekblad brings forth a variety of spaces and atmospheres, using everyday items –sometimes even mundane objects such as shopping carts–, as a mold which she fills with fresh cement and then adds useless and discarded items during the drying process. The basis of these drift works is a universe of debris and metal skeletons, and a race against time and the entropic processes.
Many of the titles of her pieces derive from her own poems, which in turn become songs or hide inside her paintings, without ever directly appearing in her work.
For her Blood Optics exhibit, Ekblad has created a series of new pieces, such as the monumental sculpture entitled Tortoise with a Sail, situated in the Museum’s gardens, directly references skate culture by combining two basic elements of this practice: empty swimming pools and street curbs.
In the general framework of the Museo Tamayo’s program, Blood Optics belongs to a series of exhibitions showcased in the last four years that seek to build a bridge between two ways of understanding Contemporary Art, both represented in the Museum’s collection: the first one is present in the works bequeathed by Rufino Tamayo in the early eighties, still based on the classical distinction between painting, sculpture and drawing, and the second started to prefigure the current practices since the nineties in Mexico.