The great suspense

Text by Mirja Majevski

In Sara Nilsson’s practice sculptural form and painting are inseparable; even when she sculpts she remains within the regime of painting. Conveying a mixture of flatness and depth, her candy coloured figurines and works on canvas call to mind painters such as Lucian Freud and Alex Katz.
The characters populating Nilsson’s world are mellow and naïve, like the pensive girl seated on an extraordinary rock, the bust of a young man whose face painting suggests he is perhaps part of some sort of a cult, or the slender Giacometti-like fellow whose hands, dressed in a pair of work gloves, are squeezed tightly to his sides. All the figurines depicted here are part of a cycle of works invoking the theme “back to nature”, which is inspired by social movements of the 1960s and 1970s. They are crafted by means of a laborious process that involves first building up the form with the use of glue and strips of paper torn out of old books.
Once the contours are fixed the figurines are sanded smooth and finally meticulously painted. With their gaze firmly turned inwards the characters consent to our curious eyeing that tirelessly seek to unravel their mysteries, yet, patently they have no intention of giving themselves away, not even to their creator.