“I did not want to rely upon representational imagery for symbolic signification. Bone pulver, marble dust, various metals and oils; each material carries its own burden of sense.”
On his series Sea Picture, Richard Höglund writes: “the title came to me through the air and alighted on my desk”. This openness to metaphysical and poetic inspiration rooted in the natural elements permeates Höglund’s paintings, which incorporate a complex preparation of metalpoints and alloys. Sea Pictures are among the largest silverpoint and goldpoint drawings ever made. The gradient palette evokes expansive horizons and the hours when the sky and sea seem particularly inextricable.
The painting juxtaposes metalpoint drawing and layers of minerals commonly associated with the foundations of human society and the primitive accumulation of empire.
Steeped in philosophy and language, Richard Höglund produces paintings and works on paper, all grounded in what he views as the most fundamental expressive form: drawing. As he explains: “Drawing is about making marks, and those marks need to be sensitive and responsive. The lines need to be unmediated as much as possible, to be made with the least amount of obstructions between mind, hand, tool, surface.” Using repetition and seriality along with nonobjective forms and patterns, Höglund’s lines are the fundamental layer within all of paintings.
For Höglund, the act of drawing is as close as we can get to our thoughts before they become inevitably altered by language. The artist employs metalpoint to bring drawing into paintings without diminishing the value of the handwritten line. Utilizing pure silver, gold, iron, lead, bismuth, and copper, and Höglund uses alloys such as bronze, electrum, tin, and lead.
Höglund studied art at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts and semiology at MIT in Boston, USA. He holds a MFA (DNSEP, 2008) obtained at the Haute école des arts du Rhin, in Strasbourg, France. In 2013, Höglund was selected by Tacita Dean to participate in her workshop at the Fundación Botín in Santander. His paintings are considerations of history and language.