Installation image from the exhibition. In the foreground, gold-colored metal chains hang down from the ceiling in a square formation, and in the background, several Bauhaus-style metal chairs are placed in front of an orange wall.
Luca Frei. “From day to day”, installation image Malmö Konsthall, 2020. Photo: Helene Toresdotter

Luca Frei – From day to day

6.6 – 30.8 2020

Luca Frei was born in 1976 in Lugano, Switzerland and has been based in Malmö since 2000. “From day to day”, his biggest solo exhibition to date, spans a period of twenty years and contains a number of works that have never previously been shown in Sweden. Frei brings together different art forms in the exhibition, such as design, handcraft, architecture, sculpture, graphic design and installation.

Creates artworks around a story

Luca Frei often builds his work around a story – a quote, a book or a photograph. Several works in the exhibition offer references to poets, musicians or other sources of inspiration. The designer Marianne Brandt and the artist, dancer and choreographer Simone Forti are examples of artists being highlighted. Occasionally connections to Frei’s family history appear, such as in the work “Inheritance”, where he relates to the physical and emotional inheritance from his father, or in “Gravesano”, portraying the music conductor Hermann Scherchen, Frei’s maternal grandfather. The sense of inclusion encompasses the viewer who is invited to interact with some of the artworks through playful, performative elements. Visitors may leave a message with magnetic letters, turn an hourglass or rearrange the works “Sticks and Chains” and “Gravesano Studio 1”. The time spent with the artworks is put into focus, along with the relationship between one’s own body and the architecture.

Inspired by modernism and bauhaus

Luca Frei’s works often have modernism as a starting point. This is evident in the artist’s interest in both the functional and the symbolic potential of forms and objects, and in his desire to highlight certain practitioners of modernism by exploring their designs or visions. The Bauhaus movement’s fundamental ideas of uniting art, sculpture, architecture and design can also be seen as a source of inspiration. Frei contributed several works to the major exhibition “Bauhaus Imaginista” last year, when the movement celebrated 100 years. One of the works, “Model for a Pedagogical Vehicle”, is included in the exhibition.

An archive of an artistic activity

The works in this exhibition are buttressed by a number of asymmetric architectural changes, designed by Frei, which subtly redirect Klas Anshelm’s strictly geometric gallery architecture. “From day to day” tries to avoid a conventional chronological compilation, instead manifesting as a physical archive of an artistic activity. By adding work to work, the exhibition creates a context in which Luca Frei’s own oeuvre and world of ideas is at the centre.

Luca Frei’s previous solo exhibitions include Kunsthaus Glarus; Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn; Museo Cantonale d’Arte, Lugano, and Lunds konsthall. Group exhibitions include Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; The National Museum of Modern Art, Kyoto; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp; and Moderna Museet, Malmö/Stockholm.

In connection to the exhibition, Luca Frei recreates the performance piece “See Saw” (1960), originally by Simone Forti, in collaboration with dancers (Nidia Martínez Barbieri, Khamlane Halsackda & Majula Drammeh) from the group Nya Rörelsen. The performance will take place on the opening day of June 6th at 14:30 and on the closing day of August 30th at the same time. The work was first shown under the direction of Luca Frei at the Moderna Museet in 2015.

Luca Frei leans against an orange wall with large, movable letters on the wall. Visitors can move them around and write their own words.
Luca Frei, 2020. Photo Helene Toresdotter
Installation image of Luca Frei's exhibition in Malmö Konsthall. The picture is bright, and the artworks feature cheerful colors such as orange, purple, red, and green.
Luca Frei, installation view at Malmö Konsthall 2020. Photo Helene Toresdotter
Evening shot of one of Luca Frei's artworks made of fluorescent tubes, taken from the outside and looking into the konsthall.
Luca Frei, “From day to day”, installation view Malmö Konsthall, 2020. Photo: Helene Toresdotter