‘Pushwagner: Soft City’
Solo exhibition at MK Gallery
Curated by Anthony Spira and Natalie O’Donnell
Exhibition Dates: 28 June–2 September, 2012
Opening Reception: Wednesday 27 June, 18:00
OCA announces the opening of 'Pushwagner: Soft City', a retrospective of the work of the Norwegian artist Hariton Pushwagner at the MK Gallery in UK. The exhibition, curated by MK Gallery's Director Anthony Spira together with Natalie O'Donnell, marks the ﬁrst international solo exhibition by the Oslo-based artist, a show that the curators say 'aims to explore the artist's early body of work with a focus on three periods including Soft City, Family of Man and Apocalypse Frieze'.
According to the curators, Pushwagner's defining work is centered around the the graphic novel Soft City, 'an epic satire of capitalism and life in the modern metropolis', produced intermittently in Oslo and London between 1969 and 1976. 'The 154-page graphic novel provides 'an account of mechanical, daily life in a dehumanised, dystopian modern city'. The Family of Man of the exhibition section focuses on Pushwagnerʼs series of thirty-four silkscreen prints produced in the 1980s; these enlarged variations on Soft City will be exhibited alongside the Oblidor Guide Book, a sketchbook that reveals the artistʼs working process. The Apocalypse Frieze, 'rife with literary allusion and piercing social commentary, comprises seven large-scale works of meticulous detail: Heptashinok (1986), Dadadata (1987), Gigaton (1988), Jobkill (1990), Oblidor (1991), Klaxton (1991) and Self-Portait (1993). The series shows endless processions of haggard figures, doggedly advancing towards Armageddon, where factories double up as death camps and the ravages of war are perpetrated under the watchful eye of robotic men in suitsʼ. In addition, a site-specific piece will be realised by the artist especially for this exhibition, in the form of a mural surrounding the gallery's main entrance.
Following its presentation in Milton Keynes, the exhibition will tour to Haugar Vestfold Kunstmuseum, Norway, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, the Netherlands. A substantial monograph on Pushwagner will accompany the exhibition, including commissioned texts from Lars Bang Larsen, Martin Herbert, Natalie O’Donnell, Will Bradley and Petter Mejlænder.
For press enquiries and more information on this exhibition, please contact Katharine Sorensen, MK Gallery's Communications Director.
About the Artist
Hariton Pushwagner (b.1940 in Oslo, lives and works in Oslo) was educated at the National Academy of Fine Art and the School of Arts and Crafts in Oslo (1958–66), and at the Cité Internationale des Arts Paris, France. He has exhibited widely in Norway, and his international breakthrough came in 2008 when the original drawings of his visual novel Soft City were exhibited at the Berlin Biennale of Contemporary Art, 'When Things Cast No Shadow'.
‘Pushwagner: Soft City’ at the Milton Keynes Gallery is supported by OCA's International Support Programme.