Truls Melin, Resurrected, 2007 © Truls Melin / Bildupphovsrätt 2010

Truls Melin

In 1993, Truls Melin participated in the Venice Biennale with an installation consisting of three large sculptures painted green and blue. The exhibition was the climax of his spiralling, successful career. Two years later, life had changed. Melin had withdrawn from the major events of the art scene and embraced the peace of his studio. The Venice sculptures suddenly belonged to another era, they took up too much space, and he decided to scrap them.

The three sculptures that were destroyed were, in many ways, emblematic of Melin: monochrome, stripped of details, and bursting with enigmatic references to an inner life. Extension Lewerentz was inspired by an architectural competition for an extension of Sigurd Lewerentz’s florist kiosk in Malmö. In his sculpture, the model of the kiosk was not only extended, but brutally tipped on its side. Hamster, writes the artist, means to hoard something, and this sculpture embodies this by way of a diesel engine in an engine shed. Camera was a model of a photography situation, a camera taking a picture of one of his earlier sculptures.

Some time later, Melin began to miss his sculptures deeply. He started planning to reconstruct them, and in 2007 he remade models of Extension Lewerentz, Hamster and Camera to scale 1:3. In Resurrected, the three new sculptures are connected to one another via music boxes. When the single handle is turned, all three melodies are played at once.

Architectural models are often made as instructions, to explain. In Truls Melin’s work, his undying childhood interest in modelbuilding has the opposite purpose, or rather, non-purpose. Here, there are no instructions for the viewer; on the contrary, it is noted that nothing is rational. We destroy and rebuild, in a perpetual quest for meaning.

Truls Melin

Born 1958 in Malmö
Lives and works in Copenhagen [DK]


1984 Det Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi/Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Köpenhamn/Copenhagen [DK]
1979 Forum Målarskola, Malmö

Selected solo exhibitions

2009 Mentalt Sällskap, Magasin 3, Stockholm
2006 Galleri Magnus Åklundh, Malmö
1993 Nordiska Paviljongen/Nordic Pavilion, Biennale di Venezia, Venedig/Venice [IT]

Selected group exhibitions

2008 Caspar David Friedrich kom aldrig till Sverige, Charlottenborg Konsthall, Köpenhamn/Copenhagen [DK]
2006 Macxa 2, Malmö Konsthall
1998 Out of the North, Würtenbergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart [DE]

Selected bibliography

Anna Hegnell & Tessa Praun (red./ed.), Moderna Museets Vänners Skulpturpris, K.A. Linds hederspris: Truls Melin (text: Ronald Jones), Stockholm, 2007.
Ronald Jones, ”Truls Melin: Galleri Lars Bohman”, Art Forum, 2004.
Friedrich Meschede, Truls Melin (utst.kat./exh. cat.), DAAD, Berliner Kunstlerprogram, 2002.

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