DAWID

Rost

March 4 – April 22, 2017
Opening March 3, 6-9 pm
Lindenstrasse 34, Berlin, Germany

“Of how many photographers can it truly be said that they have extended and altered the concept of photography? Only very few. This exclusive group would have to include the artist and photographer, Dawid, also when seen from an international perspective. When the history of late twentieth-century photography, which is now being written, is to be summed up, this extraordinary explorer of the possibilities and limits of photography should be afforded a prominent place. Important details, or rather what most of us belittle as trivialities, have always been regarded as at the heart of Dawid’s oeuvre: a classified ad in a newspaper, dots and points, some flies, paperclips, a pile of rusty nails, cable junctions, and a paper bag on a sidewalk in New York. Or, as in the suite Merit (2005): candy. The examples from the last forty years are numerous.” (Lars O. Ericsson, Author/Art critic)

Grundemark Nilsson Gallery will be showing a number of photographs from the legendary series Rost by the Swedish artist DAWID (Björn Dawidsson, b. 1949). They were first shown at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm in 1983 and changed the Swedish photography scene for ever.

Rost, which consisted of large format photographs on silver gelatin paper, created a new, revolutionary expression and sparked a lively debate within the art scene at the time. Viewers found these shadow-less, rusting objects, in front of a white background, both appealing and disquieting. The deceptive simplicity of the Rost series surprises and mystifies. Thoughts concerning the actual image content continue beyond the first deciphering of the image; indeed a further voyage of discovery through the subjective visual memory begins. There exist fine distinctions within the motive’s apparently graphic expression which only become evident on closer inspection. DAWID presents the viewer with his definitive interpretation of the photographic medium and, beyond that, invites reflection on the subjective visual/viewing experience. With this work he articulated his own photographic-artistic mode of expression and enabled many young photographers who followed him to find a new way of accessing the world.

The exhibition previously formed part of a large retrospective exhibition in Liljevalchs Konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden) and in Riga Art Space (Riga, Latvia). An expansion of Rost, the Suite M+M, was shown at the Folkwang Museum (Essen, Germany) in 1993, curated by Ute Eskildsen. DAWID has conceived Rost as a comprehensive work of art which is why, for instance, the blood red colour has such a key role in the frames, publications and exhibition posters. As well as producing the prints, the artist makes all the unique frames himself.Rost was conceived as an open series: DAWID reserves the right to extend it as appropriate.

The Pace / McGill Gallery exhibited DAWID’s Arbetsnamn Skulptur (Working Title Sculpture) in 2015 in New York as part of the exhibition Callahan, Dawid, Sugimoto; alongside which a book of the same name was published by Steidl Verlag. This shows clearly how these three significant and apparently disparate photographers developed and decisively influenced the aesthetic, technical and conceptual potential of photography as a medium.

Some other books by DAWID should also be mentioned: Beautiful Frames, 2001 (with texts by editor Michael Mack published by Steidl), This is a photograph from 2015 (with an introductory text by Steven Henry Madoff, Art and Theory Publishing, Stockholm) and Mot fotografiet from 1989 (with a text by one of Sweden’s most important poets, Ulf Linde, from an exhibition in Thielska Galleriet in Stockholm).