1988, Another Movement, Oil on canvas 90 x 64 cm
How would you describe what you were working on when you were awarded the Maria Bonnier Dahlin Scholarship, and what did the scholarship mean to you?
It was the year after I left the Royal Institute of Art and I had my first separate exhibition at Gallery Wallner in Malmö. Everything was sold before the opening and I didn't know how to move on. When I got the scholarship, it was another type of affirmation that made me proud and calm. That it was in memory of Maria, a young artist, was particularly strong.
What discussions characterized the art scene at this time, and what was particularly important you?
There was much discussion about the postmodern and exhibition Explosion at the Moderna Museet of course and its opponent Ulf Linde. A few years earlier I had been and seen an exhibition called Zeitgeist. It was astonishing for the art scene and me. Many American female artists were doing new things. The huge sizes of the male painters were new and the speed with which everything was produced and changed. There was a lot of discussion about the new ones
the philosophers, among others in small groups with Sven-Olov Wallenstein and Erik van der Heeg.
What exhibitions, films, and books were important to you, and what did you listen to for music?
German art life was very interesting to me. The scene there was very international with a focus on Italy, the USA, and Germany of course. At that time various so-called mixed tapes for cassette tape players were obtained by their friends, which contained a blissful mix of favorite music. It could be Argentine tango or Ted Gärdestad mixed with The Clash. Maybe indie pop and Sheila Chandra or something.
If you would point out any person that you perceive as particularly influential in Swedish art at this time, who would it be and why?
You cannot pinpoint a person. Among the artists, there was the avant-garde Walldagruppen with Max Book, Eva Löfdahl and Stig Sjölund. They worked in something they called the gap/gap and made exciting stuff. Painting, sculpture, sculpture painting and performance among others. So it was the gang around Kris that was interesting, but that had a very masculine touch. Lars Nittve at the Moderna Museet, of course, and at the other end Ulf Linde at the Thielska Galleriet around who more "lyrical" artists were gathered - he stood for what we thought was conservative. Fredrik Roos was a financier and collector, he founded his museum, Rooseum, in Malmö where he donated his collection of Nordic art. He bought a lot and it was always a buzz around his person and what he was going to invest in. Behind him were advisers who influenced his purchases. But it's more hidden.
How would you describe the social and political climate that prevailed, and there were some questions or events that particularly affected your work?
After all, I was part of an artistic life pretty early in my career. So I was completely engrossed in it and not so aware of politics and other social life outside of art. At least not when I look back on it now but I've probably forgotten some things.
When you look back and compare the art life then and now, which are the most eye-catching changes?
At that time, there was extremely much focus on the art of the financial world. There was a lot of money rolling in the art fairs. There was an idea from the collectors that they could make money buying art. Curators from the United States came and visited the art schools. It almost felt like you could become world-famous overnight. At the same time, of course, there was a more quiet art scene, but I was not there. I had ended up in another center where it was great fun! Party! The faster,
more and more the better. Muscles were required. I'm glad I got to experience it. But that's when I decided I wanted to decide on my own pace. There was much that was questioned in the art but there was still a core to relate to. I feel that core is not there in the same way anymore, it has disappeared and much has positioned itself "outside" if you understand what I mean. It's inside out now.
What are you working on today?
It's secret so far.
This is an excerpt from Samlade stipendiater!: 30 år med Maria Bonnier Dahlins stiftelse, by Niclas Östlind, (red.) (2016). Stockholm: Bonnier fakta.