Amulets against the evil eye, the Carl Eldh´s Foundation 2014, Stockholm

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With this summer’s exhibition of Katrine Helmersson, we continue our effort to show contemporary sculpture in Carl Eldh’s studio. Helmersson’s multifaceted work is provided with an environment it can brace against and in this sculptural meeting new perspectives arise on both her and Eldh’s art.

It is easy to be fascinated by Katrine Helmersson’s formally accomplished, tactile and corporal sculptures. Her work is informed and enriched by both contemporary and classical sculpture, as well as West African visual culture.

Thematically, the exhibition Amulets Against the Evil Eye is based on one of the world’s oldest living superstitions. The evil eye is often associated with envious and malicious looks, but Katrine Helmersson is not just interested in the phenomenon as such; rather her work develops from observing the play between forces and counterforces through different techniques and materials. Images, sculptures, amulets and other magically charged objects are woven together into a complex entity.

The exhibition’s main work consists of an installation in the museum’s new room for temporary exhibitions, in which a large number of reliefs of eyes stare at the visitor from the walls and floor. The gaze of the amulets is as threatening as it is comforting. The museum is watched over – simultaneously haunted and protected.

From this inner room, the exhibition unfolds into the Studio Museum. With works like Totem, an assemblage using stacks of magical eyes, and the floating fabric sculpture Amour; le rouge et le noir, Katrine Helmersson turns towards other aspects of the magical and the ritualistic. As in a crime of passion, we are reminded of the evil eye’s most important source of origin – spurned love.

Åsa Cavalli-Björkman
Director, Carl Eldh’s Studio Museum

© Copyright Katrine Helmersson – Photo:© Michael Perlmutter