When: 28th June – 2nd September 2012
Where: MK Gallery, 900 Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes MK9 3QA
What is it?
This summer, the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes presents Pushwagner: Soft City – the first solo exhibition outside Norway by the visionary artist Hariton Pushwagner. Since the recent discovery of his work, Pushwagner has become a celebrity in his home nation, appearing regularly in newspaper headlines and television talk shows, renowned for his homelessness and hedonistic lifestyle, and considered a modern-day Edvard Munch.
Pushwagner’s defining creation is the graphic novel, Soft City, an epic satire of capitalism and life in the modern metropolis; produced intermittently in Oslo and London between 1969 and 1976. His work also takes the form of intricate and obsessively detailed paintings, presenting a personal mythology of a world under perpetual siege from pollution, totalitarianism, and mass destruction.
At MK Gallery a tightly focussed presentation of Pushwagner’s early work will be shown in three distinct groupings; Soft City, Family of Man and Apocalypse Frieze. In addition, Pushwagner’s design for an enormous Pop Art inspired mouth will be realised in the form of a mural surrounding the main entrance to MK Gallery. Visitors will have to step onto its projecting tongue and enter the cavernous mouth to reach the exhibition beyond.
The 154-page graphic novel Soft City provides an account of mechanical, daily life in a dehumanized, dystopian modern city. The Family of Man section focuses on Pushwagner’s series of thirty-four silkscreen prints produced in the 1980s. The Apocalypse Frieze, rife with literary allusion and piercing social commentary, comprises seven large-scale works of meticulous detail. It shows endless processions of haggard figures, doggedly advancing towards Armageddon, where factories double up as death camps and the ravages of war are perpetuated under the watchful eye of robotic men in suits.
MK Gallery’s Pushwagner exhibition coincides with the exhibition Edvard Munch: The Modern Eye at Tate Modern (28th June – 14th October). The Pushwagner exhibition will be complemented at MK Gallery by a substantial Norwegian Season of video, music and performance events with around fifty Norwegian artists and curators.
Hariton Pushwagner (Terje Brofos) was born in Oslo in 1940 and is a celebrity in Norway.
More info: www.mkgallery.org