Michael Johansson Repurposes Junk Into Masterfully Organized Sculptures

May 23, 2018

Galerie Ramakers in Den Hague is currently closing and dismantling the dynamic show from Michael Johansson. We got a chance to see it only a few days before the closing date. After a huge show with Museum Voorlinden last year, where Johansson introduced his large-scale interventions, his latest exhibit presented some recent smaller-scale works.

The Swedish artist got international attention with his "real life Tetris" installations that were inspired by real-life coincidences back in 2007. Collecting unwanted objects and methodically stacking them together into neat, symmetrical, and color co-ordinated blocks, Johansson creates captivating objects that trigger both curiosity and sentimentality from observers. Aside from matching in their color, the included objects are often thematically connected as well, addressing a certain human activity or interest. For example, the largest piece of the show is built exclusively of shipping and packing material, while the piece created within two drying racks is constructed using only household items. The smallest pieces in the show were arguably the most impressive ones, as the 2 sets of glassware objects forming perfect cubes were assembled without using any adhesive or additional material other than the objects themselves. Regularly using symmetry as the main constructive format, Johansson pays tribute to his personal fascination with irregularities or coincidences, such as finding two of the same rare, seemingly useless objects at flea markets.––Sasha Bogojev