Babes in the Wood

Roger Andersson

Private view: Thursday 6 December, 6.30 – 8.30pm

Exhibition continues: 7 December – 26 January 2013

Poppy Sebire is pleased to present Roger Andersson’s first solo exhibition at the gallery. For ‘Babes in the Wood’, Andersson exhibits a new series of works on paper, new videos and a mobile sculpture that demonstrate a subservience to process and to materials.

Roger Andersson - Slaves by Choice XI

Éstienne de La Boétie’s sixteenth century text ‘Slaves by Choice’ praises the forces of nature as the supreme power and mourns man’s ability to trust in our natural state. ‘Custom, which holds great sway over us in all respects, is supremely powerful in teaching us to be slaves, and to swallow the venom of servitude without noticing any bitter taste.’

Andersson’s work does not abide by rituals or well-established schemes. He relies on the fundamental organic processes that allow one work or action to lead into another. In his on-going series of works on paper, also called ‘Slaves by Choice’, the colour pigment he uses is rust collected from old craftsman’s tools that, once renovated, he then uses for carving sculptures in wood. The destruction and subsequent creation that takes place mirrors nature’s cycle. The films that are shown alongside the works on paper are recordings of wild animals’ nightly intrusions in the artist’s garden. They eat and destroy his plants – another reminder of the inevitable necessity of destruction in nature’s cycle.

Central to Andersson’s work is a desire to let things develop at their own pace with an emphasis on the hand crafted over the mechanic or automated. This approach is not intended as reactionary or as a way to romanticise the old fashioned, but as a gesture of respect for the materials the artist uses.

Andersson explores the paths outside the system of customs and traditions inherent in our culture, not as a rebellion or as an unworldly outsider but to explore the relationship between servitude and freedom. In the end one thing cannot have an autonomous existence but has to exist in relation to its other.


Roger Andersson was born in Linköping, Sweden in 1966 and lives and works in Stockholm, Sweden. Solo exhibition have included Slaves By Choice, Galleri Magnus Karlsson (2012), The Last Day, Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm (2009); Yankee, Rose Sara Meltzer Gallery, New York (2008). Group exhibitions include Dark Nature, Poppy Sebire, London (2010); Tecknare i Undervegetationen, Teckningsmuseet i Laholm, Sweden (2010); The Armory Show (2010), Favoured Nations, Momentum 2009 – 5th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moss, Norway (2009); Frieze Art Fair (2009); Janssons Fristelser, Institut for Samtidskunst, Overgaden, Copenhagen, Denmark (2007); Monica De Cardenas, Milano, Italy (2006). Andersson holds an MA from The Royal Institute of Art Kungliga Konsthögskolan, Stockholm.