Klas Ernflo and Marc Morro, Árboles
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Klas Ernflo, Marc Morro
Árboles
June 22 – August 03 2024

Opening
Saturday, June 22
5 – 8PM

On View
June 22 – August 03 2024

Wednesday – Saturday
Noon – 5PM

Marta
3021 Rowena Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

Hybrid of Tongues

Marta is pleased to announce Árboles, a dual exhibition of works by Barcelona-based artist Klas Ernflo and designer Marc Morro. Borne of an invitation to explore a dialogue between their respective practices, this presentation of paintings and furniture works focuses on both the autonomy of and interplay between the two artists’ individual languages of form and materiality and the ways in which they speak to one another, a hybrid of tongues, across the planes of floor, wall, and seat.

Stockholm-born Ernflo—whose first exhibition with the gallery, Anorak (2019), took place during Marta’s inaugural year of programming—brings forth a series of paintings which hang un-stretched and tapestry-like, enlivening their surroundings with sentient figures that travel and repose within a fantastical universe as singular as our own. The artist’s organic, pictorial forms comprise abstracted yet identifiable scenes that play out across fabric landscapes variously depicting insects and vehicles, as in Bugs and Car Rental, drawing the viewer into a non-linear visual narrative that reflects folk and craft histories as far back as the decorative painting tradition of Hälsingland (a historical province in central Sweden, Ernflo’s homeland), which dates to the sixteenth century.

Extending from wall to seat, several of Ernflo’s motifs are carved into, and then painted onto, the surfaces of a selection of Morro’s solid wood furniture works, whose forms and corresponding functions range from footstool to step stool to chair in a kind of evolutionary portrait of seating typologies, fitting of a practitioner who is also a father. Eschewing applied color palettes in favor of the grain and natural tones of his chosen wood (delightfully contrasted by Ernflo’s highly pigmented treatments depicting mammalian figures and the exhibition’s titular trees), Morro’s work concentrates on reduced forms, and, in particular, joinery constructs, the latter of which emphasizes the artist’s unerring instinct for, and continuous investigation into, how materials literally come together: Kamanar Chaise S, model Lisa, constructed without any fasteners, appears to hover in solidity, its rectilinear forms balancing with the precision of a kinetic sculpture; Kamanars Échelle and Tabouret can be seamlessly stacked and ordered into a single entity, making their independent designs functionally dynamic and, ultimately, encouraging of interrelation.

Together in this new locality—Ernflo and Morro’s studios are situated within just a few blocks of one another in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona—each artist’s work continues to elucidate further meaning from the other, their opposing mediums, textures, and tonalities gently engaging within the square footage in which they’ve landed: a continent away from their sites of creation, and somehow entirely at home.

Klas Ernflo (b.1975, Stockholm, SE) is a Barcelona-based interdisciplinary artist working across mediums. Ernflo’s œuvre includes paintings, drawings, ceramic works, sculptures, and textiles, the latter of which defined the artist’s Anorak (2019), Ernflo’s inaugural presentation with the gallery and his first in the US. Enflo was also a part of the gallery’s now-renowned Under/Over (2021). Across materials and formats, Ernflo’s works share a unified sensibility and visual language, dominated by humanist, organic forms and pervasive references to the natural world, conjuring Ernflo’s Nordic origins which accompany him through daily life in his adoptive hometown of Barcelona.

Marc Morro (b. 1983, Mallorca, ES) is a Barcelona-based designer of furniture and spaces. This is Morro’s first multi-work presentation with the gallery following his participation, as AOO, in the gallery’s seminal Under/Over exhibition (2021). A close colleague of Morro writes of the designer's output: “Marc’s work is not about limits or sophistication; it’s about honesty and radical austerity. It’s about the search for archetypes—where a chair is a chair, and a table is a table. Frequently, the outcome is characterized by ‘rough’ pieces, each possessing a forceful and harmonious intent.”

Marta

Marta is a Los Angeles-based, globally-engaged art gallery. Founded in 2019, the gallery makes space for artists to experiment with the utility of design, and for designers to explore the abandonment of function. Marta’s curatorial and publication programs take interest in the process of a work’s creation as well the narrative of its creator(s). Marta embraces the intersection of and the transition between disciplines, advocates for diversity in design, and promotes broad access to the arts.