‘to envisage a good painter coming out of sweden’, salvador dali once said ‘would be as absurd as imagining one from the tropics’.

olle granath

Secretary General of the Royal Swedish Academy of Fine Arts, Olle Granath opened the first chapter of his pivotal book Another Light: Swedish Art Since 1945 with this profound quote by Salvador Dali.

photo source: specific object

My immediate reaction to the quote was why did Dali refer to art coming from Sweden and the so- called “tropics” as absurd? Secondly what area did Dali consider the tropics, and most importantly why did Granath acknowledge the quote by referencing it in his first chapter? Again, these were immediate questions that I pondered regarding the quote.

But as I let the quote marinate, so to speak, I began to think of Sweden’s position within the Western art historical canon. As an art historian Sweden was rarely mentioned, in fact the only Nordic artist that was discussed in my classes and seminars was Edvard Munch a Norwegian painter most famous for his work The Scream, 1893.

The next series of questions that came to mind were: why have there been no great Swedish artists mentioned within Western art historical research? Why Swedish art is considered provincial? Do Western art historical practices perpetuate a hierarchical examining system? And finally, what was Sweden’s position during the colonial period and consequently do Swedish artists express Post-Colonial situations? Granath’s reference to Dali’s quote not only provoked these questions but also provided the foundation for my MA thesis.

“A Different Light: Creolizing Swedish Modernism” addresses many of the above mentioned questions but also includes issues regarding identity and racial construction, nationalism, migration, and transculturation. Creole Konst was coined in the last chapter and is simply defined as art practiced in Sweden or by Swedish artists, living outside of Scandinavia, who merge Non-European and Swedish aesthetics and visual culture.

Creole Konst will specifically highlight Modern and Contemporary art from Scandinavia and art by Swedish artists who reside or are connected to in areas that include but are not limited to: Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Caribbean, Israel and the Middle East.

Creole Konst also includes artists from the fore-mentioned locations who reside or are connected to Scandinavia. I am specifically interested in the what happens in the between spaces that these artist occupy.

And as I believe art is seen in everyday life, disciplines such as architecture, design, fashion, film, music as well as snippets of my life will be highlighted in this blog!

tusen tack for visiting! puss och kram (xox)