Paradigm Gallery + Studio (746 S 4th St) is pleased to present Obsolescence, a solo exhibition by Sweden-based artist Ulla-Stina Wikander, open October 25 – November 23, 2019. The artist’s first solo exhibition in the United States, Obsolescence, features new works from Wikander’s well-known series of household objects covered in colorful, vintage embroideries. Obsolescence will have a public opening reception on October 25 from 5:30 – 10:00pm.
Wikander began collecting vintage embroideries 15 years ago in antique stores and flea markets, initially attracted to the intricate designs of needlework textiles. Although Wikander was traditionally trained as a painter and sculptor, the unknown histories of the women who made the embroideries interested her and she began experimenting with her new collection. Wikander’s earliest experimentation with textile began with covering a broken vacuum cleaner she had laying around in her home. Through a meticulous process of deconstruction and reassembly, she transformed the anachronistic tool into something visually absorbing and entirely new, giving the vacuum a new reason to exist. Although not all of the objects Wikander covers are broken, they’re all out-dated. Through Wikander’s process, these retro items are transformed and recycled into fully contemporary sculptures.
On her practice Wikander says, “It is rather new for me to be a part of the textile community because I have always regarded myself as a painter and sculptor. While I do not embroider myself, I am always very meticulous when I choose my patterns. Embroidery is very hard to find nowadays, so I often travel to small towns in Sweden to find them. I have a big collection with hundreds of embroideries, organized into boxes by motif. I do not know if it is accepted among textile artists, to cut embroideries into pieces, but I think my work is a bit different. I always have a bad feeling that I am destroying a beautiful embroidery that someone else has made, but the recycling of something forgotten also feels current and good”.
Ulla-Stina Wikander was born 1957 in Kungälv. She is currently living in Stockholm/Kullavik, Sweden and has been working as an artist since 1986. Wikander has shown extensively around the world in solo and group exhibitions including shows in the United States, Sweden and the UK.