“Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes.”
With a keen interest in visual expression in art and design, Gustav Hjelmgren found inspiration in the works of the early abstract expressionists.
More inspiration comes from the work of Gerhard Richter. Inspired by his extraordinary works of art, Gustav began to experiment with squeegees on canvas, working with layer upon layer of oils, searching for his own unique expression. These layers of oil paint symbolize for him the multiple layers of life – enticing the viewer to be curious of what lies behind and beyond. They are also a symbol for diversity, as the various layers of paint and colour find harmony on his canvas, very often in unexpected combinations.
Even more inspiration comes from his deep connection with nature – a walk in the woods, a stroll through the open fields in the countryside, a proximity to water and the power of the open sea. Everything is connected.
Gustav Hjelmgren’s work mirrors his perception of reality and his inner state in that precise moment of painting, sometimes revealing things that he was not immediately aware of. As Gustav himself says, the act of painting has a great healing effect, of being able to accept what is and what is not.
Recognized by Jerry Saltz, renowned senior art critic and columnist for New York magazine and the proud owner of three of Gustav’s paintings, Gustav Hjelmgren is well on his way to an international career – his work already being picked up by private collectors around the world.
A brief history of abstract art taken from Artsy.net:
“It is well to remember that a picture, before being a battle horse, a nude woman or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order.” —Maurice Denis
While abstraction is evident around the world in art and functional objects, its art-historical significance is as a category for 20th-century Western art that moved away from the faithful representation of nature. The origins of abstraction are commonly located in the works of J.M.W. Turner, Gustave Courbet, Édouard Manet, the Impressionists, as well as in the early 1900s, when Paul Cézanne’s stylized, flattened forms influenced what would eventually be called the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Arguably the first abstract art movement, Cubism would prove foundational to countless branches of abstract art, including Futurism in Italy, the non-objective abstraction of Wassily Kandinsky, Kasimir Malevich, and Piet Mondrian, and the Purism of Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant. Though the intervening decades have seen returns to representation in different movements, virtually all of the dominant art forms of the latter half of the 20th century—including Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Minimalism, and Conceptual Art—have embraced the power and aesthetic of formal abstraction in lieu of literal representation.