Anders Bergstrom | Need A Bag?
Husky Shorty, November 4, 2021
Viscosity monotype and relief print
hand-cut and folded, on Akatosashi
24 x 36 x 1/2 inch
Anders Bergstrom: Need A Bag?
December 9, 2021 – January 22, 2022
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 9, 2021 6-8pm
Planthouse is pleased to present Anders Bergstrom: Need A Bag? opening on December 9, 2021. In this series of new works, Bergstrom’s artistic focus is the brown paper bag— a common, seemingly inconsequential item present in our everyday life. Yet, Bergstrom takes this item and transforms it, masking a piece about the production process under the veil of a ﬁnished product. Bergstrom’s paper bags pay tribute to the individual labor behind the gears of mass production. However, his paper bags look as they usually do (crisp, ﬂattened, or greasy); they are also constructed, through skilled print methods, in a way that speaks to the process of manual reproduction in the mass production sphere.
This show features sculptures of oversized intensely colored brown bags, which Bergstrom makes his own while simultaneously grounding them in their real-world existence. In addition, the exhibition includes framed prints of unfolded bags, which are considered like specimens or rare butterflies collected and pinned up to be analyzed by the viewer. We are told to examine the bags in their pinned, slashed, and stained state and wonder how they ended up like this. Thus, the work can send its viewers on an introspective journey to reflect on our modern lives.
By removing the bags from their everyday reality and invoking imagery of ideas like utilitarian design objects, street detritus, garbage, and environmental concerns, Bergstrom comments on consumer culture, mass production, and the role of the laborer. The meticulous engineering of Bergstrom’s bags puts the artist into the shoes of the laborer.
Anders Bergstrom (1971) was born in Tucson, Arizona and has a Bachelor of Arts, Sociology and Fine Arts from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Bergstrom’s work is held in the collections of The New York Public Library, University of New Hampshire, Beinecke Library at Yale University, Smith College Museum of Art, MA, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and Worcester Art Museum, MA.