söndag 21 juni 2009

Helge Lindqvist - A short presentation in English

The Swedish artist Helge Lindqvist was my uncle. I've always loved his art, and I do think that his work ought to be more appreciated, also today, some forty years after his death. This is just a short text about Helge. In time I will probably add more, maybe also some quotations from, and texts by, Helge Lindqvist himself.

Portrait of Helge Lindqvist by Sten Lindahl, 1956. Detail.

Helge Lindqvist was born on December 18, 1913, in Virbo, Misterhult in Småland. He was a painter but he also made drawings and sculptures. He began painting in the late 30’s, mainly landscapes, but later his work tended to be more and more non-figurative. He was one of the members in an artist group led by Arvid Källström (1893-1967). In this group Helge Lindqvist was considered the painting constructivist, but he also made landscapes, still lives, serigraphies, collages and glass mosaics.

Helge Lindqvist was educated at Arvid Källström’s art school in Oskarshamn between 1940 and 1945, and at Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris 1947, together with the painter Sten Lindahl, also from Oskarshamn and also member of Källström’s group. The group had exhibitions in Oskarshamn and several other Swedish cities. Helge Lindqvist also had exhibitions at Liljevalch’s Art Gallery and Galleri Brinken, both in Stockholm, as well as in Paris 1952.

In 1954 Helge Lindqvist married a Danish woman, Else Torp. Their honeymoon trip went to Tarragona in Spain. Helge sold some still not painted works to finance the trip. Some of these works were made during the trip. The year after the marriage their daughter Rosine was born, and in 1964 they adopted another girl, Anna.

A writer for the daily paper Oskarshamns-Tidningen using the pseudonym H. G-m wrote these lines after an exhibition in 1948: “The most pronounced features in Helge Lindqvist’s art, is the elegancy and the intimacy. Although he sometimes strikes powerful chords, they are to be considered as a defence against a surrounding which is too realistic and unphilosophic. When it comes to the lines he is more secure. And the line holds shows an astounding skilfulness.”

Helge Lindqvist was also very interested in music. He built his first violin in the 1930’s, and he was member of a group of musicians that used to perform now and then. During the Second World War he befriended some Polish and/or Jewish refugees. One of them, Josef Vohryzek, was a classical violinist who gave Helge Lindqvist lessons.

Like many artists, Helge Lindqvist couldn’t live from his art alone. In the 1960’s he worked at the Scania factory in Oskarshamn as truck-driver. In the summer of 1967 – a few months before the death of Arvid Källström – Helge Lindqvist died from the damages he got from an accident in the factory. By the time of his death, he was 53 years old.

For pictures of Helge Lindqvist's work, please check my other text, "Konstnären Helge Lindqvist".

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