25 January – 31 March 2019


Opening: Friday, 25 January, 7pm
Exhibition: 26 January–31 March 2019
Interview: Read UKS’ interview with Martin Sæther here

Please join us for the opening of Martin Sæther‘s exhibition Toile on Friday, 25 January at 7pm.

Incessant, slow labor underpins the laconic vocabulary of Oslo-based draftsman and sculptor Martin Sæther (b. 1986, NO). Trite toilet paper flowers and knobbly wallpaper surfaces are examined, manipulated, and scaled up by carefully collecting and soaking surplus newspapers, grinding this substance to papier-mâché, and casting large-sized reliefs or tapestries.

At UKS, these wallpaper pieces are mounted onto life-size hand-crafted cupboards, likening IKEA’s infamous industrial shelving system, BILLY. Merging tapestry and cabinet, 2D and 3D, the cupboards—with their white-lacquered surfaces and untreated chipboard edges—change from functional furniture to prop for Sæther’s front-side reliefs, informing the artist’s meticulous reassessment of local domestic objects, decoration, and interiors.

This unremitting nearness or mimicry is a dedication, honoring the collective, memory-loaded baseline patterns of our private possessions. But there is always a glitch. The familiar is askew, aggrandized, gawky, aloof. Shifting aesthetic histories and currencies surface, such as the dated formula of the ornamented tapestry toile, often used in bathrooms and etymologically related to “toilet.”

Employing the UKS storefront galleries, Sæther creates a matrix of modular faux furniture. The chipboard cabinets repeat and recirculate, copy and clutter naïve motifs of decor into a surreal swirl. This is a serial reckoning with everyday aesthetics and its pathologies that also extends into animation and a new publication.


Martin Sæther (b. 1986, NO) lives and works in Oslo. He is a graduate from Oslo’s Academy of Fine Art. Recent exhibitions include the solo show Post at Destiny’s Atelier, Oslo (2017), the duo exhibitions Blickkontakt at Spreez, Munich (2015), and (b.1986) at Archipelago/Hordaland Kunstsenter, Bergen (2015), and group exhibitions at Kunstnerforbundet, Oslo (2016), and Slursula, Oslo (2016). Since 2014, Sæther has been co-running the exhibition space Diorama in Oslo.



– Review in Kunstkritikk (online journal)
Hverdagens usynlige ornamentikk, Kunstkritikk, 31.01.2019

– Review in Subjekt (online journal)
Herlig kunst for middelklassen, men vaklende plassert på borgerskapets pidestall, Subjekt, 20.01.2010


*Image material: Martin Sæther

Images from the opening of “Toile” by Martin Sæther at UKS. All photos by Jan Khür

Martin Sæther: “Toile” at UKS

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