The Gothenburg Art Museum Shows a Retrospective of Jan Lööf
Gothenburg - SEP 19, 2011
Gothenburg, Sweden - The Gothenburg Art Museum's major autumn venture in 2011 is a solo exhibition by the Swedish artist Jan Lööf. "Jan Lööf - Bildmakaren" will be on view at the museum from September 17th through to January 22nd 2012. The exhibition is the first major retrospective of this multifaceted artist who for decades has provided us with a number of exciting photo stories, comics and film productions. Jan Lööf is one of Sweden's foremost cartoonists and their now classic series Felix (1967-1973) and Ville (1975 -1976) inspired an entire generation of cartoonists, but it is perhaps above all by their children's books as he became known to the general public. Lööf's imagery offers an unparalleled level of detail where fantasy and realism literally go hand in hand. The characteristic habitats are often full of technical wonders of childhood and populated with liberating, experimental and inventive characters. It is easy to linger in this magical world where parallel events and references to literature, film, art and its own self-references provide additional dimensions. Jan Lööf is also known from the cult TV series Cake (1972), where he played the baker Janos. During the years 1978-1983 Jan Lööf and Lars-Ake Kylén featured in the TV series 'Scrap Randy and his friends', based on an original Lööf picture book, published in 1976. The plot of the series begins at a scrap yard in a small town and ends in space. The exhibition will show both newly produced works from Jan Lööf's latest productions, and several original illustrations for children books and comics. For the first time there will also be models and scenes from "Scrap-Randy" production on view to audiences. An exhibition catalog with texts by Ulla Rhedin, Carl Johan De Geer, Magnus Haglund, Isabella Nilsson and Gustaf Cavallius, as well as a rich visual material will be issued in connection with the exhibition. The exhibition will also be accompanied by a series of lectures, tours and creative weekend workshops for children & young people. The Gothenburg Art Museum houses collections from the 15th century to today. The museum has a Nordic emphasis but the collections also contain older Dutch and French art, including important works by Rembrandt, van Gogh, Monet and Picasso, to name a few. In the 1960s a bright new extension was added to the museum, and in January 1996 the museum was provided with a new entry foyer with space for temporary exhibitions, The Hasselblad Center, a bookshop and café. Unlike other major national art museums, the Gothenburg Museum of Art does not have its origins in royal or princely collections. It is the people of Gothenburg themselves who have created the museum through donations of works and resources. The Italian, Dutch, Flemish and Swedish collections from the 15th -17th century fill six rooms. Some of the oldest paintings in the museum are "Throning Madonna" by Ludovico Brea, "Salome", by Lucas Cranach and "Jupiter and Io" by Paris Bordone. Pride of place is perhaps taken by Rembrandt's "The Knight with the Falcon", a masterpiece from the final decade of the artist's life. But Peter Paul Rubens is also well represented with such works as "The Adoration of the Magi" and "Henry IV of France at the Siege of Amiens", as is Jordaens with his masterly "The Satyr and the Peasant". The collection of Swedish 18th century art is dominated by Alexander Roslin but also includes portraits by Gustaf Lundberg and works by Krafft, Pasch, Carl Fredrik von Breda and sculptures by Sergel. The museum possesses a fine collection from the period generally recognised as the Danish Golden age, in the early 19th century, with such artists as Eckersberg, Rørbye, Købke and Juel. The middle of the 19th century is dominated by the so-called Düsseldorf school of painting, depicting middle-class interiors or rustic scenes of peasant and popular life. Important here are such artists as Amalia Lindegren, Jernberg, Höckert, Zoll, Fagerlin, D'Unker, Tidemand, and - in the field of romantic landscape - H.F. Gude and Marcus Larson. Hanging in the stairwell is the impressive "King Karl XII" by Cederström, Krohg's "The Seamstress" and Carl Larsson's "Little Suzanne". Among the turn of the century works are pieces by Hanna Pauli, Anders Zorn, Carl Fredrik Hill, Ivar Arosenius, Albert Edelfelt, and Karl Nordstrom. The French collection covers about a hundred years, from the middle of the 19th century onwards. The collection consists mainly of Impressionists, of artists closely linked to them, and of Post-Impressionists. The museum possesses three canvases by Claude Monet, three paintings by Paul Gauguin and Renoir's painting "Girl in a Spanish Jacket". Paul Cézanne, Vincent Van Gogh and Henri Matisse are also represented in the colleciton, along sdie a number of sculptures by Edgar Degas. The sculpture collection also includes major works by Bourdelle, Maillol, Despiau and Laurens. Painting of the early 20th century is represented by Bonnard, Dufy, Chagall, Léger, Braque and Pablo Picasso. The Fürstenberg Gallery contains Nordic art from the decades around the turn of the century. The first room in the Fürstenberg Gallery contains Hugo Birger's large painting Scandinavian Artists' Lunch at Café Ledoyen, 1886, completed just a year before the artist died. During the 1930s a number of artists from the west coast of Sweden began to adopt certain lyrical colour characteristics which marked them out from other colourists in Swedish art. They soon acquired the designation "Gothenburg Colourists", which became the accepted term for them following publication of a book about them in 1948. Intensive, sensual and at times passionate colour expression is a common feature of these artists. But they differed markedly from each other and never exhibited as a single school. A few of these artists had in their youth been attracted by the powerfully emotional art of van Gogh and Edvard Munch. Gösta Sandels (1887-1919) was one of those who found inspiration here. He worked on the west coast from time to time and can be regarded as a precursor of the Göteborg colourists. Other major sources of inspiration for the colourists were the French painters Cézanne and Bonnard. Impulses from a source nearer home came from the richly hued paintings of Karl Isakson and from Carl Kylberg who, in 1927, exhibited a number of works at Konsthallen, just next door to the Department of Fine Arts, Valand, where these young artists were students. The fact that someone - in the sober Sweden of the twenties - could dare to show such freedom in use of colour and such simplification of form was an enlightening experience. Valand provided these artists with a common point of departure. At that time in the twenties the school was under the direction of Tor Bjurström (1888-1966); born in Stockholm, he made his debut among the group known as "the men of 1909", and he was appointed to the post of head of the Valand school in 1920. He ishimself reckoned among the Göteborg colourists, settling as he did on Sweden's west coast where he painted landscapes in tones of lyrical, glowing colour. Others - Gösta Sandels and Birger Simonsson are examples - returned to "nature" and laid the foundations for the tradition of lyrical colourism of Sweden's west coast. Visit the museum's website at ... Article: Art Knowledge News

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