Joakim Ojanen “The Part You Throw Away”

The Hole

poster for Joakim Ojanen “The Part You Throw Away”

This event has ended.

The Hole presents The Part You Throw Away, a solo exhibition of recent sculpture, paintings and drawings by Joakim Ojanen. This exhibition is traveling to us from the beautiful Västerås Konstmuseum in Sweden—situated in Joakim’s hometown just outside of Stockholm—and was organized by Västerås Konstmuseum’s Head Curator of Exhibitions, Katrin Ingelstedt. Västerås Konstmuseum also created a catalogue for the exhibition which will be available at The Hole. This is Ojanen’s second solo show at The Hole and comprises some of the artist’s most emotionally considerate, technically masterful and graphically outlandish works to date.

Recognized by Västerås Konstmuseum as one of Sweden’s most successful living artists, Ojanen’s mature work is the natural evolution of his love for childhood drawing, combined with adult forays into graffiti and illustration and an unflagging obsession with the ceramic form. Though he also sculpts frequently in wax followed by a casting in bronze, Ojanen favors the expressive opportunities of clay to shape his characters’ idiosyncratic eyes, noses and ears. Working without preconceptions when beginning a new form, the artist shapes with his hands the minute features and details of his cartoonish coterie, until a sense of each figure’s organic identity declares them finished. This sense of internal life is endemic in Ojanen’s sculptural works, which, for all their many imaginative variations, are each referred to by the artist as a type of self-portrait.

Ojanen’s career-defining style includes a multitude of uncanny adolescents, often boys, octopuses and dogs reading or at play, with surreal combinations of gangly limbs, duckbills and dog ears that can seemingly allude to the awkwardness of bodies going through change. The artist’s playful imagination retains a childlike quality, which has been singularly effective at mourning, in turn, the loss of youth itself. With this aptly titled show, The Part You Throw Away, Ojanen’s work seems to turn more deeply inward, toward characters that are neither obviously human nor clearly gendered, and retain through their imaginative indeterminacy a direct connection to childlike wonder, which must often be discarded as one enters adult life.

While these new sculptural figures often appear alone—or even lonely, with eyes turned to the sky as if waiting for something—Ojanen’s paintings and drawings are teeming with friends, masterfully intertwined in a Boschian array. His two-dimensional works excellently translate the artist’s figurative style, and seem to almost overflow, brimming, alongside his sculpture, with the joys of freewheeling youth.



from November 18, 2021 to December 31, 2021

Opening Reception on 2021-11-18 from 18:00 to 20:00


Joakim Ojanen

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