We are pleased to present Anna Pajak’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, Medusas Skratt (The Laugh of the Medusa). Besides the new series of oil painting, several set in a monumental scale, the exhibition features glass sculptures, a new medium for Pajak. Opening Reception will take place on Thursday, February 10 from 4 - 7 pm.
With an exquisite sense of color and precise compositions, Anna Pajak creates intuitive motifs reminiscent of sacred geometry and religious icons. With a starting point in the myth of the Medusa, Anna Pajak invites us to a seductive and powerful imagery filled with mysterious symbolism. When Medusa dies, the warrior Chrysaor and the winged horse Pegasus are born out of her blood when mixed with the sea foam. Medusa is murdered, but instead two powerful creatures emerge, a metaphor Anna Pajak has been inspired by. The paintings in the exhibition are intended as Medusa's shields. Seductive objects such as precious stones and flowers are composed together with geometric elements in a vibrant, clear color scheme. Motifs reminiscent of the unicorn Pegasus horn are found in several of the paintings but are also represented in three-dimensional form as a group of glass sculptures. Anna Pajak's paintings vibrates, as if charged with an inherent energy.
Pajaks often work in dialogue with female pioneers, writers and artists. In her first solo exhibition at Wetterling Gallery, Ghost Flowers Arrive Through Water, she invited Georgia O'Keeffe into her process; her degree exhibition from the Royal Institute of Arts took place in relation to Hilma af Klint's work. The title of the exhibition Medusas Skratt (The Laugh of the Medusa) is borrowed from Hélène Cixou's feminist classic from 1975.
“I read Hélène Cixous' essay The laugh of the Medusa. I feel directly interested in how I can transfer her theory of female writing to my language of painting. The writing is cyclical and non-linear like the female body, just like painting, I think. According to Cixous, what distinguishes female writing, is that it gives expression to the body, or that the language captures what the body has experienced, just like painting. For me, a narrative emerges in parallel with the paintings, the stories can be abstract, they point to a state. There, in the painting, I get to know the characters / symbols, and in me with them, a new story is created. I have invited Medusa's companionship to the studio and together we have let her shields grow. The snakes that form her hair must stand for her different desire, for the diversity of the woman being. There are no dichotomies, in my exhibition Medusa's Laughter, everything must exist at the same time. I meet Medusa's gaze in the studio, do not get petrified. In her iris shines a gradient sky, vulgarly beautiful. I see the exhibition as her return. Violent and soft at the same time.”
- Anna Pajak, 2022
As an extension of the exhibition Wetterling Gallery has published an exhibition catalogue featuring a text by Magdalena Ljung, art journalist and writer.
Anna Pajak, born 1992, lives and works in Stockholm. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts from The Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm in 2020. Anna Pajak has been exhibited at Kunstverket Galleri, Oslo, Konsthallen Kvarnen, Dalarna, and Stene Projects, Stockholm to name a few. She has been rewarded with grants from Queen Sonja Printmaking Award (2021) and Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts (2019 and 2020) among others.