Expressionisms in Sweden

Anti-Realism, Primitivism, and Politics in Painting and Print

Authored by: Margareta Wallin Wictorin

The Routledge Companion to Expressionism in a Transnational Context

Print publication date:  August  2018
Online publication date:  August  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138712553
eBook ISBN: 9781315200088
Adobe ISBN:


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Expressionism in Sweden in the 1920s was influenced by both German and French ideas, but the French sources, especially Matisse and the other fauves, gradually attracted the greater share of attention. The same is true of art-historical writing on Swedish expressionism, which tends to forget that Swedish artists also had contact with artists from Germany and many other areas of central and Eastern Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century. As Stephen Mansbach notes in his 1999 book Modern Art in Eastern Europe, Western art historians lost access to Eastern and central European sources for many years and this is reflected in their research and writing. Expressionism in art forms other than painting has also received less attention; there is a lack of knowledge, for example, of expressionism in the graphic arts. When Föreningen Original-Träsnitt (Swedish Society of Original Wood Engravers) arranged the International Exhibition of Graphic Art in Stockholm in 1914, they showed both historical and modern works by Austrian, Bohemian, British, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian artists, and earned a great deal of attention for traditional as well as “ultramodern” or “expressionist” art. 1

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