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Spring Evening
  • Artist Mats Ahlgren (Swedish, 1952 - 2016)
  • TitleSpring Evening
  • Dating 1980
  • Technique/MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions188 x 210 cm
  • AcquisitionPurchase, 1983
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 2087
  • Rights and ReproductionMats Ahlgren/BUS 2017©
  • Display StatusNot shown in the museum
Description
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
Bibliography
An industrial site is shown diagonally from above. The dark shadows over the underpainting’s swathes of umber mark the direction of the surface plane, but around the motif, the canvas has been left unpainted. Straggly brush strokes suggest trees or architecture. The graphic style of painting is reminiscent of abstract expressionists like Franz Kline with his simple black forms against a white background. But within a seemingly abstract formal language, the artist inserts meaningful details. Cars, boards, oil barrels and signs describe an industrial environment, and at the same time they set out the directions of the space surrounding them.

During the 1970s, Mats Ahlgren’s paintings explored the worn-down industrial and harbour environments of Gothenburg. Their raw style warrants comparison with neo-expressionism and the new wild painting in West Germany at the time. However, Ahlgren perceived this as insensitive and one-sided. Swedish figurative painters like Alvar Jansson and Olle Skagerfors come closer as references. But while they chiefly focused on humans, Ahlgren also paints physical space and the city, preferably its forgotten nooks and crannies.