Jacob Dahlgren belongs to a generation of contemporary artists who have taken the constructive-geometrical tradition a logical step further, and in that way arrived at completely new approaches. His materials consist of simple, mass produced everyday objects which he finds in department or DIY stores. Dahlgren employs plastic coat hangers, pencils, folding rulers or rip saws in large numbers, so as to create works in which the principle of constant repetition brings about a transformation and results in something new. In his work he takes the motto "Quality not quantity” with its assurances of excellence to the point of absurdity, proving that the one does not exclude the other, or instead that quality can be produced precisely by quantity.
Among Dahlgren's most impressive works, which stage constructive clarity and serialism in original ways, is his wall installation comprising several hundred dartboards, I, The World, Things, Life. Specially for the exhibition in Museum Ritter he has produced a new, monumental version of this piece, which he first made in 2004. The installation captivates by the powerful visual effect it creates, which recalls the flickering compositions of Op Art. In addition comes a refreshingly playful and interactive component: the visitors can throw colourful darts at the targets and in that way continue to “paint” the work.
Jacob Dahlgren’s obsession with repetition not only manifests in the individual works made of everyday utensils, but also in his conceptual projects. These include not only putting on striped T-shirts, but also photo series that grow by the day, both revolving round the 1,300 striped shirts he has accumulated. For 17 years now he has each day donned one of the shirts and then taken a photo of himself in it. In this and other serial projects the artist succeeds in amalgamating art and life in a playful, creative manner.
The exhibition Quality through Quantity gives a clear insight into Jacob Dahlgren’s striking work and pays tribute to one of the most fascinating artists in today's abstract geometrical art scene.
|1970 Born in Stockholm|
|1994–99 Studied at the Kungliga Konsthögskolan, Stockholm|
|2007 52nd Venice Biennale, Nordic Pavillon|
|2009 Artist in Residence, Headland Center for the Arts, San Francisco|