Sixten Sandra Österberg's painting is characterized by a representation of bodies taking form on the canvas, but also losing their form as they pulsate between realism and abstraction. Realistically depicted environments dissolve into fragmentary stillness and explosive discharges of paint. This creates a complex duality where the different modes of expression together form an enigmatic world to decipher. Detailed portraits of people from various subcultures, mainly queer, float in and on layers of paint - giving space for other, not always given, expressions and gestures.
The exhibition title refers to the process of the actual creation of the paintings and each of its meticulous stages. There is a suggested connection here between the methodical execution of the paintings and the still course of events in the works. They invite us to a moment of silence and are an act of resistance both in terms of technique and motifs. The exhibition highlights the stillness of real and imaginary lives, moments that are essential but without quantifiable value. Non-productivity might be associated with indolence and being at rest here becomes a protest against the contemporary mindset of rewarding productivity.
Sixten Sandra Österberg’s aesthetic is marked by a form of “non-practice” or deviation from established rules for depiction. Instead of a face, the viewer might encounter a back or merely a fragment of a hand. In her unique world of images, Sixten Sandra Österberg creates a kind of hybrid painting with its own colouration and gaze in relation to the technical possibilities of painting to influence the resulting expression.
Sixten Sandra Österberg (b. 1990) resides and works in Stockholm. She graduated in 2022 with an MFA from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm and holds a BFA from Helsinki Academy of Fine Arts. She has also completed an exchange year at the Vienna Academy of the Arts. Her solo exhibitions include Konstnärshuset in Stockholm and CFHILL, Stockholm, as well as group exhibitions at Kunsthal Charlottenborg, Copenhagen, Improper Walls, Vienna and Accelerator, Stockholm.