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Modern Art + Design presents Carl Kylberg, "Segeltorkning (II)"


Carl Kylberg

"Segeltorkning (II)”, 1936


"“The images of the ocean in this period also demonstrate this assured, broad technique. Many of them have been painted during the summers of 1935 and 1936 in Ystad, where Kylberg found himself whilst his newly purchased house in Aalsgaarde, in Denmark, was being repaired. Among to the most powerful and most accomplished painterly works is the large Segeltorkning, executed in 1936” (Knyphausen, p. 112).


Carl Kylberg was first and foremost a painter. He wanted to open doors with his art so as to show a path into the unknown, into a transcendental world shimmering beneath the physical world. He was far from a moralist: “Art should not be created for moral purposes, but all true art has an ethical effect.”
There is so much more to discover in Kylberg’s painting than just emotional symbols or his unique palette. It is true that he sometimes painted literally, for example in his paintings of ships, but what is more important is how his visions did not come from someone alienated from the world.



› Signed Carl Kylberg. Executed in 1936. Canvas 125 x 94 cm. Frame by the artist's wife Ruth. Estimate 3 500 000 - 4 000 000 SEK.


Later in life Kylberg would spend his summers, together with his wife Ruth, in North Zealand, with the ocean as a constant source of inspiration. The Kylberg couple lived with an open view of the Öresund, on which faraway ships were outlined in the distance, as if in a space of stillness. In these places the artist was protected from the outside world, given the peace and quiet he needed to catch up with his dreams and paint what he really desired. This ‘search’ also evokes in his work a powerful feeling of timelessness.
Kylberg’s images of the ocean are dreamy and mysterious. He expresses the beauty of a sunset, a ship by the horizon, a quiet sea, and a calming stillness. As a teenager he signed on to the training ship Abraham Rydberg, inspired by his older brother Frederik who was a sailor and had already travelled and worked on the same ship. The experiences he gained during this relatively short period would later inspire one of his most well-known pieces Den flygande holländaren, as well as a few other secretive ships that he depicted in an atmosphere of shimmering light and an unusual dimness. Kylberg would himself recount his existential meeting with the never-ending sea and the lonely ship when he came to sign on to the Abraham Rydberg as it lay anchored outside Sandhamn. He had arrived at dusk, seeing the ship, as if in a dream, lying there on the still water in the dying light of the summer eve.


Estève worked in a palette of warm and vibrating colours. From 1947 onwards he stopped depicting anything with a direct correlation to real forms or imagery. Instead his compositions merged into a pattern that had its own unique rhythm, clarity and purity. During the 1950s Estève stood out as a representative of the French branch of Tachisme (the name of the lyrical abstract spot painting that Georges Mathieu in particular employed). The style depicted colour and form in almost poetical expressions. With the painting in the auction, Le Guetteur [The Lookout] from 1951, Estève has just abandoned figurative painting, depicting real objects, and is instead painting without a premeditated subject in mind, filling the canvas with his own invented forms. Le Guetteur encompasses a wide variety of colours, each one more alive than the other – blue opaline, red, yellow, green and purple are set in contrast with the painting’s darker sections.


Viewing November 11 – 16, Berzelii Park 1, Stockholm
Open Mon–Fri 11 am–6 pm, Sat–Sun 11 am–5 pm.
Auction Live November 17–18, Arsenalsgatan 2, Stockholm



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