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Doug's Place
  • Artist John-E Franzén (Swedish, *1942)
  • TitleDoug's Place
  • Dating 1970 - 1971
  • Technique/MaterialOil and tempera on canvas
  • Dimensions165 x 232 cm
  • AcquisitionPurchase, 1971
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 1868
  • Rights and ReproductionJohn-Erik Franzén/BUS 2012©
  • Display StatusOn display in The Étage II
Signatures etc.
The Swedes who came closest to Pop art, apart from Fahlström and Barbro Östlihn, were John-E Franzén and Ulf Wahlberg. From visually telling images of America’s car and motorbike culture, both soon moved on to a more intimate tone, however. Thus Doug’s Place (1971–2) by Franzén (born 1942) was less dramatic than his most famous work, Hell’s Angels of California, United States of America (1966–9, Moderna Museet). Hell’s Angels, painted when he was living in the US, is a depiction of biker culture’s macho world in the most hyper-realistic and psychedelic imagery. Where Hell’s Angels is characterized by wild partying, sex, and an unpleasant undertone of violence, total silence has fallen over the dreary backyard in Doug’s Place. A custom-built Cadillac ‘59 and a Buick ‘54 stand poised like primeval dinosaurs. The house behind them seems temporary and spartan. Walls define the pictorial space. Beyond them, a bright, hazy void. The ground in the foreground is covered in patches of oil. Who is Doug? Obviously a man interested in cars. Perhaps a dropout, an outlaw on the edges of society.

Kristoffer Arvidsson from The Collection Gothenburg Museum of Art, Gothenburg 2014