Stockholm Sessions

Address:
Sjökvarnsbacken 15
131 71 Näcka
Stockholm

Exhibition dates:  6th – 30th May 2021

Opening hours: Thursday – Friday 12–6pm, Saturday – Sunday 12–4pm
To visit the show, please book your appointment via email at stockholm@kostyal.com

Directions:
By boat: From Nybroplan, take SL commuter boat 80 from 16 minutes to Saltsjöqvarn
By bus: To Henriksdal
By car: Drive to the end of Saltsjöqvarns Kaj.

 

 

We are delighted to announce the launch of Carl Kostyál’s new permanent space Hospitalet, in collaboration with Gullringsbo Konstsamling at the former Danvikens Hospital, Danviken, Stockholm.

The inaugural exhibition is a comprehensive survey of contemporary painting entitled Stockholm Sessions.  Taking its title from the famous Stockholm Jazz Sessions of the 1960s, the exhibition features over fifty artists and it will be open from 7th  to 30th May 2021.

STOCKHOLM SESSIONS

Diana Yesenia Alvarado, Hangama Amiri, Amanda Baldwin, Gina Beavers, Ana Benaroya, Szabolcs Bozó, Andrea Marie Breiling, Coady Brown, Marcus Brutus, Alejandro Cardenas, Shawanda Corbett, Jingze Du, Camilla Engström, Oli Epp, Francesca Facciola, Liam Fallon, Marcela Flórido, Alex Gardner, Jan Gatewood, Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., Jenna Gribbon, Alexander Guy, Daniel Heidkamp, Jocelyn Hobbie, Cathrin Hoffmann, Sam Jablon, Kara Joslyn, Susumu Kamijo, Arghavan Khosravi, Hannah Lupton Reinhard, Chason Matthams, Daniele Milvio, Rebecca Ness, Ariana Papademetropoulos, Harrison Pearce, Joshua Petker, César Piette, Edgar Plans, Jesse Pollock, Paul Rouphail, Conrad Ruiz, Wahab Saheed, Christian Santiago, Koichi Sato, Benjamin Spiers, Emma Stern, Constance Tenvik, Felix Treadwell, Jess Valice, Emma Webster, Hampus Wernemyr, Brittney Leeanne Williams, Tyrrell Winston, Sun Yitian, Tan Yongqing, Jon Young, Allison Zuckerman.

ABOUT THE SPACE

Hospitalet is located in the central atrium of what was once the infamous mental asylum known as Danvikens Hospital. Designed by the architect Göran Josuæ Adelcrantz and completed in 1725, it housed not only those considered mentally unstable but also many whose political views were considered inconvenient. Often referenced in 18th century literature, most notably in Fältskärns berättelser by Zacharias Topelius in the 1780s, danviken was used in common parlance as a synonym for the mad house.

Welcome!

 

Photography ©Carl Kostyál (August Eriksson)

The Passenger

Throughout the history of images, women and cars have had a fraught relationship. Often flung together in the pursuit of profits, women’s bodies have been used to market cars to men since advertisers managed to equate the purchase of the car, with the lifestyle the woman draped atop it represented. The automobile is a cultural manifestation of the American dream: the freedom to roam beyond the horizon and to remake oneself in the image of one’s own ambition. Yet it is precisely through the leveraging of women’s sensuality, that the car has been transformed into an American symbol of success, freedom and virility. A parallel thread of association exists through art history, running from the Italian Futurists, through to Richard Prince’s appropriated Marlboro Cowboy, and perhaps finding its apex in Jeff Koon’s Hoover vitrines: at once sterile objects and yet intensely eroticized.

In this new body of work, Ana Benaroya inverts the looking glass. While the women represented in these images retain their seductive allure, they are simultaneously empowered as protagonists. By transforming the male gaze into a womanly one, Benaroya endows her figures with the qualities traditionally ascribed to the machismo viewer: strength, appetite and influence. By reconceiving and recasting the target market of these images—to whom they speak and ultimately exist for—Benaroya presents a revisionist reading of this art history.

Benaroya began the series by reading Filippo Tommaso Marinetti’s 1909 Manifesto of Futurism, engaging the text’s fanatical equation of machination, violent passion and speed with masculinity. While Benaroya alludes to Giacomo Balla and other Futurists’ use of gestural expression, intensity of color, and fascination with the intersection between person and machine, for Benaroya it is woman who stands at the Romantic forefront, pushing the work and the viewer to absolute velocity.

Benaroya bridges artistic and cultural traditions in her presentation of this revisionist history. Woman exists both as the object of the viewer’s desire, and as the author of narrative action. Works such as Hocus Pocus, On the Run, and The Green Empress leave no room for ambiguity as to who is in the driver’s seat. By pairing the figures’ powerful muscular anatomy with a femininity that exudes moments of tenderness, Benaroya imparts a new nature to these images: particularly evident in the lingering gaze between the easy riding Desperado and her animated exhaust fumes. While it may be possible to detect a sense of desire in the Futurists’ work, there is certainly no intimacy present. It is in these moments, in the combination of strength and sentiment, where Benaroya’s feminist revision is at its most innovative.

Benaroya’s womanly figures are indeed immensely muscular, seemingly constituted from wells of vivid color; yet while they may be fantastical by nature, the emotions and relationships between these women anchor them to our experiential reality. Through this dual nature, Benaroya’s works simultaneously embrace the fanciful and exist as emotional biographies. We must remember that Benaroya’s images, just as the midcentury automobile billboards, are made with a preconceived viewer and motive in mind.

Throughout this body of work Benaroya reflects on how women and their bodies were, and continue to be used to sell a hyper-masculine conception of success, freedom and conquest. While the advertisement suggests that if you buy the car you might get the girl, Benaroya liberates and empowers the women of these images, inverting the notion entirely. There is no doubt that it is we, the viewer, in the passenger seat and that these women are behind the wheel. Buckle up!

 

Text by Morgan Aguiar-Lucander

©the artist. Photography ©Carl Kostyál (Prudence Cuming)