Maria Björkdahl

Artists are driven by the idea of the impossible.

About Maria

Maria Bjorkdahl is a painter who was born in Rabat, Morocco, grew up in Stockholm, Sweden and currently works and lives in Los Angeles. Maria has exhibited at various Southern California venues, including LA Artcore, The Museum of Latin American Art and Gallery 825. She has had a solo exhibition at Mary Paxon Gallery in Norwalk, CA and shown work internationally, and has attended an international artist residency in Sweden: “Tomma Rum” (Empty Rooms). Maria is a member of Los Angeles Art Association and a grant recipient from the Center for Cultural Innovation.

“I believe as artists we are driven by the idea of the impossible. In my case it centers on questions about how to make a painting that is not a painting. I’m interested in pushing painting away from rendering towards 3D, but not making a sculpture. Materiality and tactility of the painting becomes important but are not the sole considerations. Just as crucial in this quest for the impossible is the emotional impact of the artwork. I like to think it can provide a space for compassion and kindness – a pause of humanistic non-denominational contemplation.

In my current body of work I manipulate cotton duck by folding, sewing, cutting, unraveling and reassembling the canvas fabric. I use a needle to unravel the cotton duck threads and re-seal them using acrylic medium. Once I’m finished working the canvas substrate, I add thin washes of oil and/or acrylic using a limited palette of 4-6 pigments.

Very recently, since the Covid-19 quarantine, I have been experimenting with time and transience by converting step-by-step drawings into stop-motion animation. The animation stands as the sole record left of previous iterations of the drawing now vanished.”

–Maria Björkdahl

On display at Helms Design Center for one week beginning 9.4.20

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All artwork is copyrighted work of the artist. All rights reserved. Images not to be used without permission.