Who is Katrin Westman?

We met with a prolific artist who's first solo show invites to an intimate encounter.

3 min read

Tell us about the show?

The exhibition will feature paintings on canvases stretched out on frames and also without frames. The paintings are done on very thin MDF board together with straps that are then formed into sculptures. There is also an installation consisting of 15 paintings on MDF board that covers an entire wall. 

I'm interested in how we look at things and how we use our gaze. Power is all about how we see things. The title of the exhibition - Disrobement - symbolises Power. The mantle is left, exalted and desirable but accessible. I mix it with conventional stretched canvas on the wall to shape the paintings into objects that get into the room. I want to show the power of the painting to be able to surprise, overwhelm and simultaneously invite to an intimate encounter. 

Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist? 

I was 20 years old, studying in the city of Norrköping to "become something". I didn’t feel very motivated. Instead, I would rather stay in my ten-square-foot dorm room and paint in acrylic on wood panels. One day I went to Norrköping Art Museum and read about Karin Mamma Andersson. That was when I decided I would at least give this a try.  

What is your daily routine when working? 

I ride my bike to the studio early in the morning. That is when I’m most efficient. I turn on the radio or sometimes just listen to the silence. I’ll take a short coffee break and around lunchtime I lock myself in so that I can keep focused and just get at it. Routines are hard for me but I constantly work to get better. Sometimes I just let it be as it gets.  

Have you ever had a moment when you questioned your entire career? 

Yes. I’m one of many struggling to live fully as an artist. I'm not from an artistic family, so I’ve felt like a dreamer since I was child. 

Power is beauty, beauty is power - what is beauty to you?

Colliding differences. Contrasts and fluctuations. Relationships consisting of mixed materials and positions. When the unexpected happens. When we let go of our fears so that whatever wants to happen may happen.   

Who are you by the way? 

I'm Katrin Westman. I paint with oil on canvas and MDF boards. I also turn some paintings into items that are then installed outside of the room. I think it's exciting to challenge myself and go against my own ideas about what I should and should not do. Sometimes I do the opposite of what I have planned. 

With that conversation with Katrin ends, it’s back to reality and the moment has passed.

The paintings by the young artist Katrin Westman are tied in an alarming way - resembling the form of a slingshot. The strap holding gives the impression that it could break at any moment, but nevertheless she wants her show to resemble Power. You can see the show until 17 December at Galleri Andersson/Sandström in Stockholm, located in the "gallery district" at Huddiksvallsgatan 6.

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