Tommy Sveningsson
The Minus World/Minusvärlden

Gallery Steinsland Berliner is proud to present The Minus World/Minusvärlden, an exhibition of new work by artist Tommy Sveningsson. Imagery of mystical winter scenes executed in ink, charcoal, pastel and acrylic draw upon contemporary themes while honouring the classical landscape.


Wide stretches of heavy snow cover the woodland floor of an unnamed forest that creates the setting for Sveningsson’s new works. Sveningsson has been known to illustrate nature scenes, oftentimes with mystical elements included. A human presence is only ever alluded to through objects or remains of intervention. This time around, a human presence is at most suggested by a few footstep-like indentations in the otherwise perfectly untouched snow. Perhaps something more familiar lies beneath the snow, or might the subnival space between undergrowth and snow actually be home to the tiny gnomes that keen observers will see peeking out from behind the trees? In fact, we seem to be looking at something closer to the world of fable and fantasy. This notion is reinforced by the decorative storybook-looking borders that surround some of the landscapes and point to a certain tradition of illustration and storytelling.

In the 1985 video game Super Mario Bros, the “minus world” is a glitch or hidden level which transports the player underwater into a seemingly endless run with no known end or starting point. The perspective in many of the works echo that of the first-person perspective common in video games. The endlessness and apparent lack of motive in the minus world makes for an experience that can either be freeing or frustrating, it is also a mirroring of Mario’s “actual” world, suggesting that the minus world exists in a dimension that is accessible to us if we can find our way there, perhaps through various consciousness altering methods. Sveningsson’s snowy landscapes seem to exist in a realm which is not quite our own and which doesn’t necessarily follow the logic or laws of our world. The landscapes might as well be endless, a continuous sea of pristine snow silently resting in meditative peace.


Tommy Sveningsson (b. 1982, SE) lives and works in Stockholm. He holds an MFA from Valand Academy (Gothenburg, SE). Previous exhibitions include solo presentations at Teckningsmuseet (SE) and Tegnérförbundet (NO) among others.


Accompanying the exhibition is a publication produced by Tommy Sveningsson in collaboration with writer Erik Lavesson. The publication exists in a limited number of 50 pcs and will be available for purchase at the gallery.