Currently at Ikon is the first major UK exhibition of Norwegian artist Matias Faldbakken. Presented works include, an ominous hanging baseball bat; a black tiled wall wiped out by a slash of half-erased paint; and re-presented first-person footage of an underground Scandinavian biker gang, speeding through traffic, clocking speeds of 200mph. It’s a sparse and seductive show that plays with the appeal and aesthetics of violence.
Elsewhere, spontaneous, quickly spelled out words run across the gallery’s walls, made with brown packaging tape. Letters smash together, indecipherable, and the material totally beguiles for all its flatness and immediacy.
Downstairs a burnt out Mercedes-Benz sits in the space, still shackled in its storage/transportation unit. Other series of framed and canvas works are also left in the gallery as they might have been in storage. Stacked on the floor or piled against a wall, individual pieces remain hidden, recalling the German artist, Imi Knoebel.
It’s a great show that slickly compresses references as wide as minimal art, aggression, action painting, vandalism, erasure and the absurd into a single language. The exhibition runs till 24 January 2010, so there’s still time to catch the sharp and seasonally-fitting Norwegian artist.
Check the website for Ikon Christmas opening times.