The wonderful world of abstraction

"I'm afraid we lost our minister", said with a tone of embarrassment one of the honoured VIP guests of an exhibition opening where Jacob Dahlgren's "Wonderful World of Abstraction" was on display. After slowly grasping the real meaning of the polite comment the imposing body guards dashed themselves into the shiny cube of silk ribbons and were immediately out of sight, lost in it. All the participants of this rather comic scene were mesmerized by the invitingly tactile promise of the installation by Dahlgren, but were also unaware of its hidden trap.

Dahlgren builds his playful, wonderful world from objects and materials known from everyday life. His objects and installations come into being out of a lament over the quality, variability and amount of the utilised materials, and, in places, lead from the banalistic, through an approach of playfulness and inventiveness, into the sublime. The wonderful world of abstraction, which consist of gigantic, colorful, space-forming, abstract constructions made out of 32,000 pieces of silk thread.

This gargantuan, glistening cube beckons to the spectator to enter - with promises of playful moments, but not without the risk of losing control, of getting lost in the piece and enduring claustrophobic reactions.

Dahlgren's works take into account the attributes of the given exhibition space, and assume a direct, fertile relationship with the constructed space in which they appear. Their references are all taken from the great isms of classic modern art; past the genealogy of abstract painting, his oeuvre is replete with quotations from constructivist art, from the strategies of minimal, pop and op art.

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The Wonderful World of Abstraction
Silk ribbons and aluminium
525x525x400 cm
Moderna Museet, Stockholm 2006
Photo: Per Anders Allsten/Moderna Museet