Sven-Harrys konstmuseum new exhibition, entitled Sailor Compositions: The Dramatics of Color and the Dynamics of the City, is based on the ground-breaking exhibition Sailor Compositions at Gummeson Gallery in Stockholm in 1918. It was there that Stockholm got its first real look at Gösta Adrian-Nilsson’s (GAN) eccentric, colorful, intense, modernist paintings of sailor scenes.
GAN came to be a pioneer of Swedish modernism and created his own style based on the prevailing currents of early twentieth-century art: Cubism, Futurism, and Expressionism. Visitors will get to see oil paintings from the sensational and equally scandalous Sailor Compositions show of 1918, which will form the core of the new exhibition. The museum has succeeded in bringing together ten of the seventeen works that could be tracked down from the Gummeson show. Some of the pieces in the exhibition are on view for the very first time, including GAN’s model ship, and others haven’t been shown publicly for several decades.
The exhibition’s second part is subtitled The Dramatics of Color and the Dynamics of the City, a phrase taken from GAN’s own preface to the catalog for the 1918 Sailor Compositions show. This part presents GAN's powerful urban scenes and the environments where he felt most at home. The museum is showing about fifteen paintings of big city motifs, especially views of Stockholm in which GAN captures the energy that pervaded the radically changing urban scene during the rise of modernism. GAN’s burgeoning talent developed explosively during this period with inspiration from the modernity and dynamism of his adoptive hometown.
In conjunction with the exhibition, a series of interesting tours and conversations with artists, authors, and art critics is being arranged to explore Gösta Adrian-Nilsson’s life and work. Information on the program of events will become available later.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a luxuriously produced exhibition catalog about GAN’s life and work that will include images of all the works in the show.