Time and Memory, by Cecilia Edefalk and Gunnel Wahlstrand

Time and Memory, by Cecilia Edefalk and Gunnel Wahlstrand

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Published on the occasion of the exhibition:Time and Memory: Cecelia Edefalk & Gunnel Wahlstrand at the Parasol Unit, London

 “I freely confess that I had never seen anything by Cecilia Edefalk or Gunnel Wåhlstrand until the first week of 2012. I would have been hard put to say what kind of work these Swedish artists even made. But if the show of their paintings at the Parasol Unit proves anything at all it is that there is still art out there that needs no introduction, no explanatory preamble or wall text or foreknowledge of any sort. This is art that speaks beautifully for itself.

 “Born in 1954, and one of Sweden's leading painters, she is either very slow or highly selective about what she makes as precious few paintings exist, almost all of them in public collections.

 “She took nearly a decade to produce the 12 Venus pictures, which all return to the same moment when she saw a flash of light illuminating a silhouette in a wintry London garden. So the statue was a shadow in the first place, just the recollection of a brief phenomenon.

 “Gunnel Wåhlstrand's immense images are faithfully, painstakingly, based on old family photographs.
 Wåhlstrand (b. 1974) paints in ink-wash on paper. Her vast transcriptions are a feat of exactitude and loving labour, admired in Sweden since her graduation show in 2003. The ink tinges the paper with a great range of nuances from silver and dark grey to something approaching sepia. It's the twilight of old films, catching the gleam of immaculately brushed hair, spangling teeth and spectacles, finding haloes in polished floors.

From a review in The Observer, Sunday 8 January 2012.