Signed Ola Billgren on verso and dated 1987. Canvas 157 x 152 cm.
500 000 - 600 000 SEK
49 603 - 59 524 EUR
Acquired from the artist.
Östergötlands länsmuseum, Bohusläns museum, Bildmuseet i Umeå och Jönköpings läns museum/konstförening, "Landskap med torn", 1994-1995.
Östergötlands länsmuseums förlag och författarna, "Landskap med torn", exhibition catalogue, 1986, pictured p. 15.
Ola Billgren was the first Swedish artist to clearly formulate the relationship between art as language and reality. He has been called both a theorist and a sensualist and his work captures the historical and the contemporary in one and the same picture. Billgren’s paintings are characterized by duality and ambiguity, both in terms of expression and content, and the dreamy presence is unmistakable, from his photorealistic works of the 1960s to the romantic touches of his later-period painting.
In the introduction to the catalogue for the exhibition “Ola Billgren - Landscape with Towers”, the artist describes his selection of works from 1983-93 as specifically composed from a close-up perspective. The selection can be divided into three subjects, all typical for the artist: the Spanish landscape, the landscapes of southern Sweden, and iconized projections of people he knows.
The painting in the auction, “Providence”, falls under the third category. As the title suggests, the portrait aims to convey reflection, long-term thinking, wisdom, and foresight. The portrait is based on a black-and white photograph, but the red field on the right-hand side of the canvas breaks the realistic illusion. Later in the 1990s, the colour red would come to completely dominate the paintings, but in the portrait "Providence", the artist uses the colour to convey a sense of concentration, warmth, and providence.