Harkawik debuts the art of Johannes Högbom in Before My Country Had a Name, the first solo exhibition at the gallery for the Swedish painter. The gallery held an opening art party on June 3, 2023.


Harkawik, Johannes Högbom Exhibition

Högbom’s exhibition offers a neatly assembled aggregation, in which ritualistic human behaviors and the herd mentality of animals are freely interchangeable. The stillness of the country and the bustle of the city are both understood as ambient phenomena. Also the contested status of the animal among humans is foregrounded in all its terror, brutality, and artifice.

Often drawn to figures engaged in ambiguous activities, here Högbom fixates on a young woman, offering vignettes that might be seen in her eyes: a truculent bull; a vicious black dog lost in blue dawn; clouds mingling among fresco-like landmasses; a night scape pitcher tableaux, lit mysteriously by noon-day light.

More About the Work

In the exquisite Blint får (“Blind Sheep”), a sheep rests, its hulking rectilinear mass thwarting the eye from its journey along civilization’s beckoning path. The sheep appears to be made of the stuff of clouds, thus could easily be resting, or dead.  Another option could be that it is reassembled from material gathered from strolls through the forest, tufts of wool combed from the fur of mischievous cats, as well as adorned with bloody horns found ensnared in the mantle of a yak. A remnant of some unseen skirmish, hooves borrowed back from an unkind taxidermist’s hearth. There is exquisite pleasure in Högbom’s brush, and much of what he accomplishes registers in painterly, not pictoral space.

About Johannes Högbom

Born in 1994 in Dalarna, Sweden, Johannes Högbom attended Örebro Konstskola, Örebro, Sweden. In 2019 he earned his BFA from the Trondheim Academy of Fine Arts, Norway, in 2022. His work has been exhibited in Sweden, Norway, as well as New York.

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On view: June 3, 2023 – July 8, 2023

What: Before My Country Had a Name, Johannes Högbom
Where: Harkawik Los Angeles, 1819 3rd Ave., LA, 90019
Website: https://www.harkawik.com/