Wasenaar, The Netherlands
A first look at Michael Johansson’s work suggests that he might be quoting other contemporary artists a bit too literally. His well-ordered stacks of household objects variously recall Jackie Winsor’s Post-Minimal cubes, Jannis Kounellis’s niche-filling accumulations, and Tom Wesselmann’s Pop Art Interior (1964), a wall piece that fuses working domestic items and painting to create a hybrid and not-so-quiet vision of quietude. Johansson even includes an igloo: Is there any more obvious reference to Mario Merz? Despite the comparisons, Johansson’s unique engagement with paradox and wordplay sets him apart. Last Summer, his richly chromatic igloo, is built out of picnic coolers. Installed outside on the grass, it not only conjures nostalgic visions of summer outings, but also shines light on changing times. The word “igloo” was once associated first and foremost with the structure that insulated Arctic nomads from harsh winds and cold; but it also identifies the world’s largest manufacturer of coolers, and today it is synonymous with a commercial product that guards food and drink against the effects of heat. …see the entire review in the print version of June’s Sculpture magazine.