Ylva Holländers ( b. 1955) works are often characterized by humor and playfulness, yet always with undertones of more serious existential concerns. Nature and art history are constant sources of inspiration. She thinks in pictures and her works thus serve as material for philosophical reflections. Holländers multifaceted sculptures appear as large encyclopedias, investigating the nature of life. Everything seems to fit inside a single entity. Holländer is technically versatile and chooses her form of expression based on the idea. Even her vibrant paintings strive towards three-dimensionality.
Holländers works, especially her meticulous drawings, are influenced by 18th century natural science studies, but differ from the scientific in that she adds the artistic dimension of playfulness. Miniature worlds, which are placed inside large balls of linen paper, include small skeletons playing out various scenes from everyday life. Holländer undresses the human body, removing layers of social coating along with the clothes. In her carefully executed ink drawings she shows an affinity for detail; these small fragments build up entities of large works. Holländers methods are slow and meditative, diverging profoundly from today’s digital imagery. Threads, roots and lines reoccur and accumulate in an infinite flow of images. The cycle of life is manifested through images of birth, bloom, decay and death. Each seed pod is programmed with all that is necessary for continued life. She observes her environment as a phenomenon, without taking a stance, and without placing her works in a specific time or space. Holländer does not pin humans as the pinnacle of creation; bacteria and worms are equally important – the significance of life lies in existence itself.
critic, art historian