Ylva Kunze is a Swedish born artist, who settled in London after living in Los Angeles and New York. Tutored by the painter Peter Doig as a young student, she went on to complete her masters at Chelsea College of Art and later shared studio space with Damian Hirst, Marcus Harvey and Chantal Joffe.
Kunze exhibits in both London and Stockholm and her work was recently celebrated with a major solo exhibition at the Nassjo Konsthall, Smaland to the south of Sweden. A rural area, scattered with lakes and wild woodlands, Smaland is also the location of Kunze’s childhood and her torp, her traditional summer cottage.
Inspired the landscape she knows so well, Kunze’s paintings capture the fleeting glimpses of light, air and movement between the birches and tall pines or on the ever-shifting surface of the water. For Kunze these are mystical spaces that speak of earthly polarities, of fragility and strength, near and far, black and white. It is what lies between these opposites that is significant, as it is here that life’s energy actually lies: in the tension between the benign and malign, nature and intellect, chance and control, the rooted and the restless.
Kunze’s paintings capture forever the moment of a millisecond.
“I’m excited by the chemical and physical reaction of paint and pigment on the canvas. When I paint, I seek to explore the tension between chance and control, positive and negative, the artificial and natural.
My work is based on my memories, my travels and my childhood in the Swedish countryside. Now, living in London, I’m separated from my surroundings –and it strongly influences my work.
I want my paintings to contrast a feeling of my past with frozen moments in the present; they’re a snapshot of now, with a flashback in time.”