• Results 1
Bathroom Interior
  • Artist Ola Billgren (Swedish, 1940 - 2001)
  • TitleBathroom Interior
  • Dating 1994
  • Technique/MaterialOil on canvas
  • Dimensions206 x 204 cm
  • AcquisitionGift of Astra Hässle AB, 1994
  • CategoryOil painting
  • Inventory NumberGKM 2371
  • Rights and ReproductionOla Billgren/BUS 2012©
  • Display StatusNot shown in the museum
Signatures etc.
Exhibition History
Ola Billgren’s Bathroom Interior (1994) is somewhat fatalistic. The scene is drenched in saturated red; the picture is almost obliterated. A bathtub stands in the middle of the floor, and to the right there seems to be a cupboard. Otherwise it is difficult to make out any details. The boundaries of the room are only hinted at. Reflections gleam in the dark at different points. While the red gives a sense of hotness and intimacy, the motif appears inaccessible because it has been fixed like a photographic imprint, yet remains phantom-like.

Billgren began as a Neo-Realist in the 1960s, but in the 1970s and 1980s his pictures got more painterly, with more than a little Romantic melancholy about them. With his fragmentary aesthetic courtesy of his collages and collage-based paintings, Billgren came to represent of the postmodern just at the time when art was expanding and painting was objected to as an antiquated art form. Despite criticism, painting has proved enduringly relevant as a medium of artistic expression. In the twenty-first century, some of the most talked-about young artists were painters or drawers. Today’s figurative paintings are not so clearly based on photographs and mass images as they were in the hands of the Sixties’ Neo-Realists, but photography and various popular cultural expressions are numbered among the sources nevertheless.

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