A Place Called Home
In Peter Ern’s new exhibition ‘A Place Called Home,’ strangeness permeates the imagery. Between dream and nightmare, between secrecy and homeliness, a dense drama evolves. Presence and absence here appears to be equal. The wasted spaces behind industrial estates are loaded with meaning, not because something has happened or is about to happen here, but simply because the very absence demands our attention. The images appear as if outside of time, detached from any action or movement that may previously have taken possession of the place. It is not even a case of being in the right place at the wrong time.
The melancholy quietly evoked by Peter Ern’s new paintings does not derive from the sense of estrangement they convey – quite the opposite – it grows out of a sense of something recognizable. The condition of déjà-vu and of the sleepwalker prevails. It is the landscape of suburbs: holiday cottage areas, country tracks and blocks of rented housing. These are the places that have followed Ern through his practice and become part of his paintings’ mythology. Nature, people and trees take on a graphic quality, appearing as constants in a world of change. The large format gives the works more than literal weight; they appear loaded, as if something is breaking, as in the quiet moment before a storm breaks out.
Peter Ern was born in Stockholm in 1965, and lives and works in Norrtälje. He graduated from Kungliga Konsthögskolan in Stockholm in 1992. Recent exhibitions include Enköpings Konsthall, Beaver Projects, Copenhagen, as well as several group shows.
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