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Axel Kargel – from naturalism to purism

Axel Kargel was born in Kalmar in southern Sweden in the late nineteenth century and spent his summers on the island of Öland in artist Per Ekström’s fishing hut at Solliden. The landscape of Öland came to be a recurring subject in Kargel’s art. The Swedish capital called, however, and in the 1920s he rented a studio with accommodation on Grevgatan in Stockholm. His debut exhibition in Stockholm in 1931 was followed by a long-awaited study trip to Paris, Berlin and Copenhagen. His next exhibition was held at Galerie Moderne in Stockholm in 1944 and his definitive breakthrough came at Galerie Acté in 1948 and Gummesons konsthall in 1951. From naturalism, Kargel developed towards a highly simplified style of painting with a harmonious colour scheme, a style which he himself termed “synthetic purism”. His subjects are strips of farmland, trees, gables and still life. This themed auction is highly representative of Axel Kargel’s art. Kargel’s works are held by museums including Moderna museet, the Öland museum in Himmelsberga and Kalmar Art Museum.