Yasmina Karli Malmsten (SE)
Text written by GHA
In Swedish artist Yasmina Karli Malmsten’s monochrome screen prints, bold forms transform into delicate figures whose recognisable postures express the essence of human compassion.
Malmsten’s figures consist of flowing forms built up from plain black surfaces.
The negative space of the background suggests the outlines of the figures and actively defines their fluid movements.
The artwork is reminiscent of a contemporary interpretation of the black-figure designs of ancient Greek vases. The clear and simple shapes in Malmsten’s prints construct a story at a glance.
The figures convey the vast amounts of love that people invest in interpersonal relationships and the range of experiences that follow – such as heartbreak, hope and happiness. Whether the characters are frolicking happily or plagued by deep sadness, Malmsten’s compositions convey emotion without mincing words. The scenes are vulnerable, depicting the first and last moments between lovers and the aftermath of loss. However, the viewer is not excluded from these intimate moments. Instead, the characters allow the viewer to share in their feelings, which seem easily comprehensible. Although the bodies are simplified in form, their gestures are of great accuracy. This leads to a remarkable strength in the comprehensibility of the poses, which is easily transferred to the viewer.
Malmsten’s silkscreens seem to be an odyssey of human tenderness that warms the human soul and speaks to the need for interpersonal connection.
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