Soft Opening, London
Maren Karlson and Nevine Mahmoud
14 September – 19 October  2023

[…] In order to read the formal aspect of Maren Karlson’s work it is important to understand its
spiritual premise. As she puts it: “what happens when the human being lets itself be overtaken by what surrounds it to become part of the background? What happens when the distinction between something and nothing dissolves?”. Karlson’s images are complex elaborations in which human X-rays and landscape details the artist photographs herself converge. The landscape is to be intended as a place of the effects and defects of anthropisation. A crashed car, a dismantled switchboard, a motorway junction. The empty space that her paintings and drawings produce are thus the shape of the spiritual; it adapts dialectically to the environment. Forms change and renovate because the universe is seen in its continuous becoming. […]

Stefano Pirovano, Maren Karlson: effects and defects, CFArts, 2023

Nevine Mahmoud’s sculptures are symbols—concrete images—which hold together different elements, in turn expressing the process that led to their creation. They do not refer to other meanings, but in their sculptural physicality, reveal the complexity of desires and impulses. Less subject to the arbitrariness of signs, they are figures that come from afar. They address bodily sensations before rational thought, while affecting what we have in common with animals. Beyond the seduction of surface and materials, beyond possible interpretations, there is an archetypal system that emerges from the flow of its individual iterations. Whether it is a marble peach revealing its interior, an alabaster mouth, a portal, an erogenous zone or a skinless deer, the heart of Mahmoud’s practice is the expressive recreation of a symbolic process which takes shape in the encounter with her work.

Niccolò Gravina, Nevine Mahmoud: the implications of pleasure, CFArts, 2023