25 January – 31 March 2019


Opening: Friday, 25 January, 7pm
Exhibition: 26 January–31 March 2019
Opening hours: Wed–Fri: 2–6pm, Sat–Sun: 12–5pm

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 (NO, b. 1986). 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’ white-lacquered surfaces and untreated chipboard edges change from functional furniture to prop for Sæther’s front-side reliefs. The combined gesture informs 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 daily, private objects. But there is always a glitch. The familiar is askew, aggrandized, gawky, libidinal, 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 grounds, Sæther turns the storefront galleries into a matrix of modular faux furniture. The chipboard cabinets repeat and recirculate, copy and clutter the naïve motif 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.


*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.


*Image material: Martin Sæther

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