At the Stockholm fair in 1930, Otto G Carlsund organised an exhibition of Post-Cubistic art at Restaurang Puck. Some distinguished artists from the Paris Avantgarde took part, like Piet Mondrian, Theo van Doesburg, Jean Arp and Franciska Clausen, and Swedish modernists. The exhibition didn’t become a commercial success - only three Swedish works of art were sold, and the show was called a “concrete fiasco”. Today the concretism has been revalued, and its artworks appeal to more collectors each year. The Stockholm Museum of Modern Art arranged in the spring of 2018 the exhibition Concrete Matters, with Max Bill, amongst others, and the art museum of Norrköping has recently shown concrete art.
The artist Theo van Doesburg (1883 – 1931) formed in 1930 the artist collective Art Concret, and the concept was established when a manifest titled “The Basis of concrete art” was created. The idea was made famous by Josef Albers and Max Bill, who organised the first international exhibition with concrete art at Kunsthalle in Basel in 1944. Concrete art is defined by abstract, non-figurative art of geometric character. The concrete art is free from ideas of symbolic character and consists of geometric shapes that capture the viewer in its directness.
Several Swedish artists started making concrete art early and were acknowledged internationally, not least Otto G Carlsund. Other early concretists were Gösta Adrian Nilsson, Erik Olson, Ingegerd Torhamn and Knut Lundström. The art movement grew bigger with Olle Baertling, Pierre Olofsson, Lars Erik Falk, Esaias Thorén, Leida Rives-Elfvén, Gert Marcus, Harry Booström, Bengt Orup, Einar Lynge-Ahlberg, Gerd Nordenskjöld, Per-Erik Böklin and John Ivar Berg. Amongst the more contemporary Swedish artists that are part of this collection, we find Olle Borg, Torsten Esbjörnsson and Sven Hansson. We also find Outi Ikkala and Paul Osipow from Finland and Ole Schwalbe from Denmark.
Auction online 3−12 September
Viewing 7–10 September, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm