Dark White
An exhibition by Sara-Vide Ericson


Bright white soaked fabric hanging from a wooden pole. Illuminated almost on the verge of combustion. Violent white light. You narrow your eyes to protect your vision and realize that there is a woman in the river lifting the wooden pole with drenched fabric. She is wearing a white shirt or dress, wet from the meeting with the red river, it clings to her breasts that are clearly visible through the fabric. Her face is covered by the long wooden pole with the five white garments. Suspended above her head like a weightlifter. It must be really heavy. The soaked fabric. The wooden pole. The weight of water. What is she doing in the river? This is clearly not a regular way to clean clothes. Is it some kind of ritual? A strange pagan Baptism? A punishment? A peace offering? Her posture is strong. She is in control.

This is the tableau in The Dark White Redemption, oil on canvas, 250 x 190 cm, 2016, a large new work that you encounter when you enter Sara-Vide Ericson’s new exhibition Dark White.

It is a starling painting. It arrests you. It pulls you in. It gets under your skin. You will not forget that you have seen it. Sara-Vide Ericson is a terrific technical painter, you see this on closer inspection of her work, but in her new body of work her obvious skill takes a back seat to make room for a performative practice. Where Ericson earlier dreamed or imagined scenarios and would revisit them to photograph them with a model before translating them into oil paintings - she is now performing her paintings. She is that woman in the river with strong shivering arms raised above her head, cold, tired and victorious. She can taste the iron water in the red river and you can feel that in her new work.

The new body of work is visually arresting. 18 paintings and one large drawing that engage the human state of mind, light and nature. In Ericson’s paintings neither are pretty in the traditional sense of the word. Nature is a place where you get hurt if you are not careful. The vast Swedish woods will swallow you and wolves, bears and worms will disperse of your remains. The humans in the works and woods are engaged in a seemingly ritualistic behavior, a physical form of psychotherapy, where feelings, dreams, moments are enacted and reenacted. The white light is a recurring theme in every work - it takes on many meanings and positions. It illuminates, radiates, provides, it gives and takes power, it burns, it is harsh and even violent, it is life and death.

Sara-Vide Ericson was born in Sweden in 1983. She graduated from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 2009. She now resides and works in rural Hälsingland where she was also born and raised. She has recently exhibited with Galleri Magnus Karlsson (Stockholm, 2016), Swedish Art Now! at Sven-Harry’s Art Museum (Stockholm, 2016), Abertz Benda (2016, New York) and Norrköping Art Museum, (Norrköping, 2016). Dark White is Sara-Vide Ericson’s second solo exhibition with V1 Gallery.

We look forward to seeing you.

V1 Gallery