Karl Holmqvist is an artist whose primary material is language. His inventive re-renderings of words and phrases take various forms including artist’s books, posters, wall drawings, sculpture, videos and live performances. Borrowing from generic types of speech or written word, ranging from common sayings to literary references, from popular music to political activism, Holmqvist repositions these sampled fragments in new contexts, allowing for ambiguity and double meanings to emerge.
This exhibition comprises new printed canvases, a knitted blanket, concrete poetry published as leporellos, wall drawings and a video. Collectively, these works unpack the many operations of language, how it can occupy space and provoke images within the viewers’ imagination. The title READ DEAR is a visual word game and a playful command that invokes Gallery 3’s previous function as one of Hampstead Central Library’s reading rooms, before the Victorian building was repurposed as an art centre in 1965.
Supported by the Embassy of Sweden in London
Karl Holmqvist (b.1964, Sweden), lives and works in Berlin. Holmqvist participated in the 2003 and 2011 Venice Biennial. His work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Ecstatic Alphabets/Heaps of Language, 2012), the Performa performance art biennial and during the Serpentine Gallery summer pavilion marathons. This spring he opens an exhibition of new works at the Power Station in Dallas, Texas.