Space is Only Noise

Alexander Gutke
Olle Bærtling
Julius Göthlin
Lars Englund
Sara Wallgren
Sophie Tottie

“Space is only noise if you can see
Space is only noise if you can see”

— Nicolas Jaar

Belenius/Nordenhake welcomes you to “Space is Only Noise”; a group exhibition featuring works by six distinguished Swedish artists employing minimal concepts and aesthetics. While these artists share a tradition, they come from nearly as many different generations and approaches.

Starting with the centerpiece of the exhibition, we are proud to present a towering black metal sculpture by Olle Bærtling (1911–1981). His idea of the “open form” made him famous as the frontman of Swedish minimalist painting, yet it could be argued that this concept becomes fully delineated in his sculptures. “YAYAN” from 1971, is a work closely related to YAYAO, part of the collection of Centre National d’Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou, Paris.

The backdrop to the sculpture is made up of an early work of Alexander Gutke’s (b 1971) that was recently shown at his solo-exhibition at Kunsthaus Baselland earlier this summer. “Horizon” (2000) is a seemingly endless number of days stamped directly unto to the wall for it’s entire length; a figure so great we are rendered unable to fathom it – it becomes an abstract illusory image of a line, similar to how the horizon is concealing the rest of the earth behind it. Also present in the room is a new large spray painting on paper by young Stockholm-based artist Julius Göthlin (b. 1984), who has mainly been preoccupied with highly geometric and labour-intensive paper collages and drawings since his graduation from the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm. The associative series bring to mind telescope images of nebulas and galaxies, while on the same time looking like X-rays and microscopic images, alluding perhaps to the long journey from outer space to the smallest molecule in Charles and Ray Eames “Powers of Ten,” 1977.

In the far corner hangs a relatively small but shiny square brass plate by Sophie Tottie (b 1964), scratched with countless circles reaching out to the edges. It is the sketch to a pending public installation in Linköping with several large and similarly etched brass disks, and closely related to a recently inaugurated public installation in Uppsala.

Present in the exhibition is strange mechanic humming sound, interrupted by beeps and noises. In Sara Wallgren’s “La Ritournelle,” (French for “refrain”) 2015, a sound recording from the Apollo 10 mission is edited to contain no telecommunications. Noise is also the topic of her three paintings in the second room; she visualises this by covering the raw linen completely with dots made from pencils of various shades.

​At the end of the exhibition we find an important symmetrical relief from Sweden’s foremost minimal sculptor Lars Englund (b.1933). The organic works from his “Pars Pro Toto”-series were exhibited in the Nordic Pavillion of the Venice Biennial in 1978; this early piece is from 1980.

Lars Englund & Sara Wallgren

Lars Englund, Pars Pro Toto, 1980, Cintered steel

Julius Göthlin, Lars Englund & Sara Wallgren

Sara Wallgren, La Ritournelle, 2015, Plywood, MDF, MP3-player

Olle Baertling & Julius Göthlin

Sophie Tottie, Sketch for public commissions, 2015, Etchings on lacquered brass

Alexander Gutke, Horizon, 2000, Edition of 4, Stamp ink directly on wall, measurements variable