Galerie Helder

Pär Strömberg


The shades of gray, dark and seemingly bleak landscapes is bursting with hidden light sources and display a range of full color that require a certain amount of patience and tranquility of its audience. The images clears up gradually and giving seductive invitations to places, experiences and memories deep in our human psyche.


Despite the post-apocalyptic mood of the painting lies a certain reassuring calm of the atmosphere, something that emerges through the many layers of paint, the clear distinctive technology and the austere temperament in the coloring. The characteristics of the oil paintings are a kind of layering techniques much like watercolor painting with thin layers of transparent color and chunks of running structures.


The often large canvases invite you to a physical participation, while the smaller formats are more intimate and mixed up with the inner landscape of an external collective memory of the forces of nature.


The viewer is taken along on a trip to the frozen fields, the mountains and the dissapearing mysterious lake mentioned above. Without getting too allegorical in symbolic language, there are crows, trails in snow and sometimes human characters (my alter ego or a dark passenger?) in the picture where titles often can be used as guidelines. Here I choose, however, according to a symbolist doctrine, preserve the mystery of the image. The eternal questions of life and death, light and darkness mixed up with the past, memories and an untamed nature.

Inspiration comes not only from the wild nature but often found in art history, music and literature in which sounds and texts brings new images. There is even a flirtation with Scandinavian national romanticism in the big bombastic works but that side is often toned down in the smaller formats which shows a more poetically beautiful and evocative atmosphere.


During the past 13 years, since my graduation at the Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam, the themes and the narrative in my work revolved around folklore, nature mysticism, dream/nightmare scenarios and of human wonder and smallness before a grand nature. The motifs are mostly from the geographic areas around my home state Örebro in Sweden. My grandmother's father was at one time forester and worked in southern Bergslagen and Kilsbergen among places like Fasaskogen, Jätteberget and the mysterious lake Tunntappen. Places that I've heard about in stories and legends, places that are my origin and which formed the basis of myth in the work I show here at Galerie Helder.


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