Ardelius Blane is drawn towards a melting point of language, image and illusion; gathering inspiration from early image-based sign systems such as hieroglyphs, Chinese pictograms and ancient rock paintings, where words and images come together in hybrid signs. In this sense, through their common heritage, language and images are not opposites, but rather reflections of each other.
In Erlenmeyer flask the artist continues to elaborate on these ideas and at the same time shifting focus to visual forms in the process of transformation – dissolving, doubling and shapeshifting. The exhibition title refers to a common type of laboratory glassware, and reflects an experimental phase for the artist. Just like a container, the title functions as a vessel for the different works, mixing into a simmering, acidic green concoction. The motifs appear in a water-like substance, emphasizing their fleeting forms and their state of becoming.
A silhouette of an anthropomorphic insect emerges within the visual field, as well as ambiguous doodles painted on the backdrop of an unstable seabed. In a similar way as written signs have gone through the evolutionary stages of a Thing referred to, then depicted as Image, and finally pronounced as Word – certain insects go through a complete metamorphosis within their life span. From egg to larva, to pupa, to adult; the insect as a motif embodies change and resistance to categorisation.
The visual tropes are mirrored in the painting process itself, as Ardelius Blane is opening up her habitual way of working, enabling the paintings to find new forms.
Mercedes Ardelius Blane
Mercedes Ardelius Blane (b. 1986, Figueres, Spain). Lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden.
2017-2020 — MFA, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm
2010-2013 — BFA, Slade School of Fine Art, University College London
2020 — Drifter, Larsen Warner, Stockholm
2019 — Wordmonger’s Well, Galleri Mejan, Stockholm
2018 — Soft Kernel, OCH Galleri, Stockholm
Selected group exhibitions
2021 — Winter Rose / Zimska Ruža, Dom Kulture Veli Iž, Croatia
2020 — Graduation show, Konstakademien, Stockholm
2019 — The Easter Groupshow, Galleri Thomassen, Göteborg
2019 — GIFC, The Hole NYC / Soil Gallery, Seattle
2019 — Twelfth night, or what you will, Coyote, Stockholm
2018 — KuvA / Project Room, Helsinki