artist: Gunnar Johnsson (Swedish 1917-2007)
medium: oil on panel
dimensions: 35 x 27.5 cm framed size / 21 x 14 cm art size (approx)
dated August 1958 verso
presented in repurposed vintage 1950s linen liner with new outer hand finished timber frame
Gunnar Johnsson was born in 1917 in Malmö, Sweden.
He was a self taught painter and took study trips to France in 1949 and then to Spain in 1951 and 1953. His first exhibition was at Galleri Gummesons in 1951. Gummesons was one Scandinavia's leading contemporary art galleries with a reputation for supporting Modern Art. After this debut he exhibited at SDS-hallen in Malmö and an art salon (Östlingsin konstsalong) in Västerås - and participated in a group exhibition at the Skåne Art Association in Malmö in 1952. In 1953 saw him exhibiting in Barcelona at the Galerias Jardin and was awarded a scholarship from the Royal Fund (Kungafonden) in 1955.
The critic Ulf Hård (Svenska Dagbladet) compared Johnsson’s work to fellow painter Roland Kempe (1907-1991) , and noted "that both found common starting points in the Spanish environment”. Another Stockholm critic from the same time wrote of Johnsson: ‘his abstract work has a naturalistic weight and firmness at its centre that separates him from most others”. Johnsson went to to have several major exhibitions in Sweden, as well as in France and Spain. These include Galerie Bleue (1965, 1966 and 1976), Galleri Karlsson (1968), Maria Galleriet, Stockholm (1968 and 1978), the Engström gallery (1979) and Hands, Malmö (1980).
Johnnson’s works are included in collections of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts (in Stockholm, the Liljevalchs konsthall), the Moderna Museet in Stockholm and the Skåne Art Association (Skånes Konstförening) in Malmö.
Johnsson passed away in Stockholm on 28th April 2007, aged of 90.