9 works by Max Walter Svanberg
At Bukowskis, August 13 - 21, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm
Hours: sat - sun 12 - 4pm, mon - fri 2 - 6pm
With his overtly sexual and playful fantasy images, Max Walter Svanberg (1912 – 1994) managed to cause outrage among critics and gallery visitors way into the 1960s. His pictures, engendered in his imagination and dreams, were so strongly charged that the reactions were remarkably violent. Max Walter Svanberg described his work in the following words: “The base note and driving force of all life is sexuality, and similarly, a base note of sexuality imbues imaginary art.”
In 1946, Max Walter Svanberg had coined the term Imaginism, a variety of Surrealism, and formed an artist group together with C.O. Hultén, Anders Österlin, Bengt Orup, Gösta Kriland, Bertil Lundberg and others. In 1951, Svanberg was invited to participate in “The Third Tokyo Art Independent Exhibition” in Tokyo and was featured in Taro Okamato’s book “Avant-Garde”, which earned him wide recognition in the Japanese press and in international art magazines. His oeuvre conveys the message that beauty is continuously threatened with destruction, oscillating between fear and a desire for beauty.
Svanberg was obsessed with the female body, and in Malmö Konsthall’s catalogue for his retrospective exhibition in 1979, Svanberg writes: “My art is a worshipper’s hymn to woman; to this remarkable hybrid of vision and reality, of convulsive beauty and chaste temptation. A solitaire in rainbow rooms with skin of rare garments and flocks of butterflies, happenings and scents, of the rosy fingers of morning, the day’s translucent suns, the blue darlings of twilight and the large-eyed fish of night.”
Bukowskis’ Modern Art Sale on 25 October has been commissioned to sell Bengt Fredin’s large collection of Max Walter Svanberg. Bengt Fredin, like Svanberg, lived in Lund and admired his artist friend throughout life. The works in the collection include the monumental oil painting “Conversation in the Sky”, dated 1941, and the typical gouache “Poem on Blossoming Hybrids” from 1962.