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Axel Olson

(Sweden, 1899-1986)
600 000 - 800 000 SEK
54 500 - 72 700 EUR
57 100 - 76 100 USD
Hammer price
1 600 000 SEK
Covered by droit de suite

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Sweden: BUS
Finland: Kuvasto

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Lena Rydén
Lena Rydén
Head of Art, Specialist Modern and 19th century Art
+46 (0)707 78 35 71
Axel Olson
(Sweden, 1899-1986)

"Woman figure in gray and black"

Signed Ax. Ohlson and dated Berlin 1923. Canvas laid down on panel 88 x 58 cm.


In the artist's possession until (at least) 1985.
Bukowski Auktioner AB, Stockholm, Moderna och grafik, 13 April 1994, cat no. 179
Private collection, Stockholm.


Folkrörelsernas konstfrämjande.
Riksförbundet för bildande konst, exhibition no. 45.
Liljevalchs konsthall, "Halmstadgruppen 60 år", 7 April - 4 June, 1989, cat. no. 203.
Amos Anderson, Helsinki 1989.


Viveca Bosson et al. "Halmstadgruppen 50 år", 1979, illustrated p. 43.
Viveca Bosson "Halmstad-Berlin-Paris", 1984, illustrated p.51.
Liljevalchs konsthall, "Halmstadgruppen 60 år", April 7 - June 4, 1989, illustrated p. 73.

More information

Axel was the first of the Olson brothers who, with the help of patronage, had the opportunity to study abroad. He traveled to Berlin, which was a significant art city at the time, where, among others, Alexander Archipenko had a painting school. During a period, Archipenko had specialized in female bodies, powerful and rhythmic, which became a model for his students.
In the exhibition catalog for "Halmstadgruppen 60 years," Axel's notes are quoted: "... But we admire Archipenko, even though he has specialized in women. Because he has turned art into his specialty. I don't take his naturalistic nonsense too seriously anymore... I was at his home today in his studio... he shows me around among his things... He unveils his latest big painting! An abstract female sculpture! In brass, copper, silver, wood. It's the most beautiful thing I've seen from him so far. It's not finished yet, but it's a marvel of space, plasticity, balance, and feeling, and above all, it's interesting as material... 'I thought you worked more naturalistically,' I say. 'But this isn't nature.' – 'No, I work in many different ways. ...But if you can't work naturalistically, you can't make my abstract things,' he continues... Then he shows me his model studies. Mighty, swelling with power, rhythmic, and artistic. This is certainly nature but spiritualized and composed."
"Kvinnofigur i grått och svart" ("Female Figure in Gray and Black") shows influences from both Russian and French contemporary art. In Berlin, the major galleries were showcasing artists like Malevitch, Kandinsky, Chagall, as well as Picasso, Braque, and Leger, all of whom made an impression on the young Swede.