2020, Soloexhibition @ SIRIN Gallery




Installation view: EXHALE

Soloexhibition by Ida Retz Wessberg

featuring Tina Maria Nielsen and Nils Elvebakk Skalegaard

SIRIN Gallery, Copenhagen. 21.02-05.05.2020

© All photos by David Stjernholm

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RELIEF 03 (encapsulated air, gestures)

Jesmonite cast, sewing thread, air bubble wrap. Dia. 97 cm x H5 cm. 

RELIEF 01 (encapsulated air, gestures)

Plaster cast, sewing thread. Dia. 97 cm x H5 cm

Detail: RELIEF 02 (encapsulated air, gestures) 2020 

RELIEF 02 (encapsulated air, gestures)

Jesmonite cast, sewing thread. Dia. 97 cm x H5 cm. 

Detail: RELIEF 03 (encapsulated air, gestures) 2020 

Detail: RELIEF 01 (encapsulated air, gestures)  2020 

Installation view: EXHALE

from right: SLEEVE, 2018 by Ida Retz Wessberg, Space Oddity, 2018 by Tina Maria Nielsen.

Reliefs on the wall by Ida Retz Wessberg


Plaster cast, L50xW40xD21 cm.

Installation view: EXHALE

Air Bubble Wrap, beads with letters insewn by hand
Artist Frames. 2020. Each frame 50,5x67,5 cm.

Detail: HANGING LIKE SPAGHETTI (Eva Hesse’s sculpture) 2020 

Detail: GOOD AIR / BAD AIR, 2020 

(Photo: SIRIN Gallery)

HANGING LIKE SPAGHETTI (Eva Hesse’s sculpture) 2020 

Air Bubble Wrap, beads with letters insewn by hand
Artist Frame. W50,5xH67,5 cm.


Air Bubble Wrap, beads with letters insewn by hand
Artist Frame. W50,5xH67,5 cm.

AIR IN A CAN, 2020 

Air Bubble Wrap, beads with letters insewn by hand
Artist Frame. W50,5xH67,5 cm.


Air Bubble Wrap, beads with letters insewn by hand
Artist Frame. W50,5xH67,5 cm.


Air Bubble Wrap, beads with letters insewn by hand
Artist Frame. W50,5xH67,5 cm.

Installation view: EXHALE

from right: RELIEF 03 (encapsulated air, gestures), RELIEF 01 (encapsulated air, gestures) 2020, SLEEVE, 2018 by Ida Retz Wessberg, Space Oddity, 2018 by Tina Maria Nielsen and RELIEF 02 (encapsulated air, gestures), 2020 by Ida Retz Wessberg

Detail: MIRROR (Air Bubble Wrap), 2020 

MIRROR (Air Bubble Wrap), 2020

Jesmonite cast, acrylic paint. Dia. 52,5 cm. x H5 cm.

Installation view: EXHALE

from right: Just A Restless Feeling # 16, Just A Restless Feeling # 23, 2013, Just A Restless Feeling # 42, 2015 by Nils Elvebakk Skalegaard, RELIEF 03 (encapsulated air, gestures), 2020 by Ida Retz Wessberg


Press release

Solo exhibition by Ida Retz Wessberg (DK)

featuring Tina Maria Nielsen (DK) and Nils Elvebakk Skalegård (NO)

21.02-01.05.2020 @ SIRIN Copenhagen    

SIRIN Gallery is proud to present Exhale, Ida Retz Wessbergs’s first solo gallery exhibition.                                                  

Bronze, bubble wrap, plaster, plastic pearls, stoneware and sewing thread. Present meets future in Ida Retz Wessberg’s solo show EXHALE. With this exhibition Retz Wessberg wishes to give the observer an intimate glimpse of the ongoing agitation between the past, present and potential future, moving in her works. A movement which, according to her, can be perceived as a kind of ventilation.

The recurrent theme of the exhibition EXHALE is air. For both flora, fauna and humanity, air is the ultimate condition of life. But too often, the air is taken for granted. With EXHALE, Ida Retz Wessberg has decided to focalize on the importance and necessity of air. The title refers to the common experience that the breath is, as well as the fact that all living organisms are connected through their need of air to survive.

Investigating the relationship between air and substance, immateriality and materiality, Ida Retz Wessberg employs traditional as well as untraditional materials in her work. Plaster, the traditional sculpture material, makes the air emerge like small craters, generated during the casting as a natural side-effect. But in the production of modern, non-artistic articles for everyday use, like padded jackets and bubble wrap, air is deliberately enclosed in small compartments to warm and protect. It is this apparent boundary, between traditionally noble materials and modern consumer goods, that Retz Wessberg desires to break.

By means of packaging, bubble wrap is a simple material. It consists of plastic and air. The bubble wrap is designed to protect objects from bumps during transportation. Air is being enclosed in small plastic compartments and sent with the mail from one end of the world to another. As human fingers pops the bubble wrap, the air from foreign countries escapes and mixes with the well-known, like some sort of global ventilating system.

In her series of air bubble wrap works, Ida Retz Wessberg has replaced the air in some of the plastic compartments with pearls, and subsequently sewn them together with colorful thread. Every pearl carries a letter, so together, they form words and sentences. Combined, the bubble wrap works present fragmented text bites, whose female narrative poetically formulates some of the thoughts occupying Retz Wessberg in her work. The texts are partially written by Retz Wessberg herself, partially taken from commercial examples on online trading with pure mountain air. Apart from that, the texts portray women figures of the art world and history, f.i. in a description of an installation by artist Eva Hesse, as well as staging a scene with a female gallerist, wrapping an artwork in bubble wrap.

Air can also be interpreted as an absence, something 100% immaterial. To illustrate this point, Ida Retz Wessberg has used compound padded jackets to caster four round reliefs in plaster and jesmonite. On the surfaces of the reliefs, imprints of the figurative padded jackets are visible together with abstract plaster formations. The body is absent, yet present in the reliefs. It can be sensed from the marks of the torso, that the reliefs show signs of.

At the same time, the padded jacket involves potentially performative aspects. The padded jacket is a symbol of the public human body. It's unisex, since most models are neither masculine or feminine. It's volume can cover distinction marks like gender and body type, while its bulges can make it look like a muscular figure. Furthermore, the padded jacket is a democratic type of clothing, that everyone can wear, regardless of their social status. Both homeless people and royalties can be seen wearing a padded jacket. And just like bubble wrap, they are partly made out of air, since the padding consists of air and down-filled compartments. The four reliefs by Ida Retz Wessberg hang on the walls as recurrent monuments, emphasizing the architecture of SIRIN Gallery’s rooms.

The new works presented by Ida Retz Wessberg all relates to sculptural tradition, while they also reveal clues of the present time, in which they have been made. For the occasion, she has invited her artist colleagues Tina Maria Nielsen and Nils Elvebakk Skalegård, to contribute with selected artworks. With the same historical awareness as Retz Wessberg, these two sculptors experiment with material, content and expression. This is what makes the works of the three artists enter into dialogue.

Nils Elvebakk Skalegård understands his work as anachronistic. He is interested in the encounter and exchange between different elements, as well as juxtaposing individual parts, each representing their own history and meaning. This artistic approach is reflected in the three clay sculptures, which are included in the exhibition.

The two sculptures made by Tina Maria Nielsens are meant as regards to the origins of Art History and the long tradition of modelling. The archaic Kalvebæreren from around 570 bc. (is titled Space Odddity by Maria Nielsen), reflects its own stylized and significant front in the abstract, modernistic expression of the mould. The bronze sculpture Lost Arms shows a detached arm, whose model could be a renaissance figure of a woman, merged with its own mould. The mould part belongs to the classical, so-called ”genuine” forms, which were used before the silicone of the industrialization and the high tech 3D-print of today completely overtook the craftsmanship.

Nils Elvebakk Skalegård, born 1983 in Norway, and Tina Maria Nielsen, born in 1964 in Denmark, representing two different generations and nationalities. Together with Ida Retz Wessberg, born in 1986 in Denmark, each artist in this exhibition, suggest three individual ways of working with art historical references and combining those with contemporary topics(in society or in aesthetically discourses).

Ida Retz Wessberg graduated from the sculptor The School of Sculpture Charlottenborg at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in 2018. Her artistic practice is based on an investigative approach towards themes such as representation of gender in sculpture traditions, the contours and abstractions of the body, as well as how different materials relate to each other hierarchically, and how Art History gives prominence to some materials as more valuable and genuine above others. She is inspired by the French, woman sculptor Camille Claudel(1864-1943), and has recently completed a trip to Paris, studying her endeavors.

We welcome everybody to join the vernissage, which will be held on Friday the 21st of February, between 4 and 7 pm.

SIRIN Copenhagen                                                

Gl. Kongevej 103, 1850 Frederiksberg