Lotta Antonsson, BLUE (Shell for You), installation view at Dorothée Nilsson Gallery, 2023
Lotta Antonsson belongs to a generation of Swedish artists who emerged in the 1990s, inspired by post-structuralist theory and art exploring new media as it pertains to identity formation. For nearly three decades, her work has questioned the objectification of women with irony and self-distance.

For BLUE (Shell for You) Antonsson created a custom wallpaper that covers nearly the whole back wall of the gallery. Layering printed strands of strung-together shells over the image of a woman identified only as ‘Kate’ in the title, Antonsson creates an additional layer of texture by incorporating found seashells as well. Antonsson’s distinctive collaging technique utilizing found natural materials sourced locally by the artist herself is a continuing and defining feature of her work. Crushed-up shells, precious stones, or driftwood adorn vintage record covers, magazines, and newspaper cutouts. 

With the name of the recording artist removed from the cover, Antonsson creates an interesting graphic effect while obscuring their identity. Often restituting only their first name in the title of the work, the portrayed becomes subject again instead of an object of admiration. The shells and other materials adorn and decorate, or illustrate an emotion – a single tear of lapis lazuli. Other times they appear to protect, a face covered with crushed sharp shells, only the eyes staring out. Identifying features lost, they are allowed to be without being seen. Occasionally, it is the eyes or teeth that are obscured, without seeing the viewer’s gaze, they are alone, unseen, free.

Opening: Friday, September 9, 6-9 pm