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Alumn: Fanny Hellgren – Perpetual Pulsation

Fanny Hellgren, ‘Flux’, acrylic on unprimed cotton canvas, 110 x 80 cm, 2023

Fanny Hellgren's solo exhibition features several paintings from the artist's latest series. The astonishing canvases radiate soothing and pleasant feelings and by contemplating these non-figurative compositions one after another, one can sense a continuous rhythm. A pulsation, emanating from layers upon layers of acrylic paint, attracts us to track and understand its language and the dialogue that brought it to life.

The excerpts of an ongoing conversation between the artist and the matter become perceptible slowly but steadily. A dialogue, a perpetual search and longing to know the deepest, to see the furthest, to feel the warmest, to be in a place where nobody has been yet. This conversation is an intimate journey leading us through the works’ inner landscapes.

Hellgren has consciously built her artistic practice along this journey, where the shapes and structures are organically formed through the reactions of the material. By placing acrylic paint on the surface of a canvas and tilting it, the artist lets the material speak and reply to her questions. Questions and thoughts about longing are posed by the process of moving the canvas, placing the paint on it, and feeling the material. Where, metaphorically speaking, the various colour fields blend into each other and the superimposed acrylic layers transform into answers.

The pulsation of the words, sentences and paragraphs of this discussion becomes so vivid that forms and shapes appear. One might see rays of light filtered through the foliage of trees, the sun on a cloudy sky, a washed-out scenery, or even reflections on a water surface. These glimpses of the inner landscape are not constant or fixed, they are only temporary moments in eternal flux. They are in motion, such as one's perception of the world that is shifting from one minute to another, from one year to another. Without moving, feeling, changing, and evolving, the unseen cannot be traced and the unknown cannot be known.

Edit Fándly, curator


“It all starts with a feeling of longing. Recently I’ve been working on a series of paintings. On my daily walk to the studio, I meditate on what my next painting will be like. As soon as I start working, nothing turns out the way I planned, and I have to emerge myself in the process. This unpredictability is the path I follow. When doubt hits me, which it always does at some point, I go out for a walk to give my eyes and mind a break. I like moving through a landscape whilst the trees, sky, and facades merge in the outskirts of my view. The weather is my friend and my enemy, it changes constantly, just like my thoughts. This shifting light has found its way into my abstractions, as well as the formless fusion of a periphery in motion.

The paintings are acrylic on unprimed canvas. I’m drawn to the resistance in this technique, to the fact that I can’t predict the result. The obstacles give me a framework in which I can work intuitively. I add colour fields and brushstrokes onto the wet, stretched canvas. By tilting the paintings against the wall, the bleeding paint gets a direction, and the brushstrokes slowly fall out of their original positions. These fading gestures create a sense of movement. I can’t erase my failures in these works, I have to relate to them or start all over. What happens on the canvas and in the studio seems to be an analogy of life, and it all starts with a feeling of longing.” / Fanny Hellgren


FANNY HELLGREN (b. 1992) is an artist based in Gothenburg, Sweden. She holds an MFA from Malmö Art Academy (2021) and has studied at Valand Academy in Gothenburg and Akademie der Bildende Künste in Vienna. Her work deals with ideas of time, chance, and impermanence in relation to site. She works in series and has over the years oscillated between painting, sculpture, and installation, where the properties and agency of the materials constitute a starting point for both the narrative and the choice of medium. Hellgren has exhibited internationally and in Sweden at venues such as Nevven Gallery, Gothenburg; Raum Vollreinigung, Berlin; 3:e Våningen, Gothenburg; The Museum of Gothenburg; Alingsås Art Museum; KC Magacin, Belgrade, and Galleri Arnstedt, Östra Karup.

www.fannyhellgren.se / @hellgrenfanny

Image: Fanny Hellgren, ‘Flux’, acrylic on unprimed cotton canvas, 110 x 80 cm, 2023

Special thanks to Domeij Gallery for hosting the exhibition.With support from Kulturrådet and Stockholms stad.



Perpetual Pulsation
Fanny Hellgren
31 March–2 April 2023

Address: Domeij Gallery, Bragevägen 21, 114 24 Stockholm
Vernissage: Friday 31 March, 17–21
Artist talk: Saturday 1 April, 17.00 (in English)

Opening hours:
Saturday 1 April, 10–18
Sunday 2 April, 10–16