Art Gallery Anniversary

The Art Gallery, which has been situated in the Culture House since it was inaugurated in 2007, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with an exhibition of highlights from the Luleå municipality collection.

Every year, the municipality buys a number of artworks to display in offices, receptions, and other buildnings. There is an annual exhibition at the gallery of the artworks being considered, and the first years only employees of the municipality could suggest what they would like to have on their walls, but I voted anyway for a number of years, and protested that I am as much a part of Luleå municipality as those who work there, and would certainly like a say in what goes on the walls at my local emergency room or at the library, for example. I was not the only one to do this, and the last few years everyone has been invited to give their vote.

There were two works I was particularly happy to see again, and one was Åsa Davidsson´s "Bevakad" (= guarded, or watched). Her work was exhibited in 2011, and I remember this one very well. It has a particularly eerie feel to it, I think, and so do many of Davidsson´s works. Her images often display young girls in scenery that is a bit off, off the road, as it were. There is something intermediate about the things going on, like something has just happened or is about to. You can see more of them here and here.

I was also delighted to see this painting by Swedish art legend Bengt Lindström. He lived most of his life in France, but has made a lot of famous murals and eye-catching sculpture in Sweden, like the Y in Timrå, Akkats powerstation, and Åbyverket. I remember the exhibition well, though it must have been more than ten years ago. This, "Stranden" (= the beach) was one of the smaller paintings and I´m not surprised the municipality didn´t buy a larger one, because the prices were very, very high. I remember going several times to enjoy this exhibition. Lindström used more paint in one work than many artists use in a year, I´m sure. They have a very tactile appeal, it´s very tempting to let your fingers run over the powerful brush strokes.

I´m afraid the light was bad in that corner of the hall, and having only my little Samsung with me this was the best I could do. The close-ups worked better; I become very near-sighted in front of a Lindström painting.

Actually, I think Lindström is more enjoyable up close. Doesn´t all that lovely paint make you happy? It does me.

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