Lars Lerin is a master of watercolour. He knows everything there is to know about the temper and movement of this media, along with its strengths and weaknesses. His images bear the imprint of his hands but also of his heart and mind. This summer’s extensive exhibition embraces both sadness and warmth, melancholia and hope.
Visitors who are already familiar with Lerin’s watercolours will recognise his typical treatment of light, which seems almost magically to illuminate the works from within. We will also discover new qualities in the artist’s extended subject matter. Nature has previously been a dominating element in Lerin’s work. Recently, he has begun taking a greater interest in the man-made world. His new works show the backdrops to our everyday lives. A sense of claustrophobia and isolation recurs in the dilapidated suburbs of European cities, but also in the watercolours of stuffed animals in the Gothenburg Natural History Museum. The emphasis is on house facades and window dressings. This is about feeling lost and alienated, about having gradually become more of an onlooker than a participator in the course of life. In Lerin’s exhibition, the artist and spectator are both observers from the outside.
Lars Lerin has also begun to reinterpret works by other artists and paint stills from films that have moved him, reproducing key scenes from classics by both Alfred Hitchcock and Werner Herzog. The result is paintings with the characteristic suspense of the film medium.
Lars Lerin was born in Munkfors in 1954. He studied at Gerlesborgsskolan in Stockholm in 1974-75 and at the Valand Academy in Gothenburg in 1980-84. Lerin has long been recognised as one of the foremost Nordic watercolourists and has exhibited extensively in group and solo shows at galleries and museums in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, France, the Faroe Islands, Norway, Germany and the USA.