Painter Tomas Lundgren receives Beckers Art Award


Gothenburg-based artist Tomas Lundgren, a painter of works based on old photographs and portraits, has been announced as the recipient of the 2016 Beckers Art Award.

The award gives prize money of €16,000 as well as a solo exhibition at the Färgfabriken art centre in Stockholm that will run until March 6.

"This recognition is very gratifying. When you spend as much time in the studio as my art requires, you always hope that what you create will mean something to other people and not just yourself," Lundgren said.

Photographic references

The Beckers Art Award jury panel, headed by Lindéngruppen chairman Jenny Lindén Urnes, said Lundgren's work, which is in black and white, contained "clear innovative will" and drew on references to photography.

Lundgren exhibits at Färgfabriken in Stockholm until March 6‍

"In these close cross-fertilisations, his images develop into a meditation over painting and photography's changeable possibilities and shortcomings in the interpretation of reality," the jury said.

"[Lundgren] works almost exclusively with old photographs, portraits or pictures of people that ended up in an archive or different types of collections. A person, a face lifted out of the past, becomes a model he twists and turns around."

Reformulating history

Lundgren studied fine arts at the Art Academy in Malmö and the Valand Academy in Gothenburg. He was awarded Fredrik Roos Scholarship in 2014 and his works have been exhibited at the Moderna Museet in Malmö and the Gothenburg Museum of Art.

He said: "My art has a lot to do with reformulating and recreating parts of history. I build my approach on visual recollections and examining how memory works by piecing different fragments together to create a picture, and how these pictures vary and shift each time you remember something."

New series of works

For the exhibition at Färgfabriken, Lundgren has produced two new series of paintings, including one titled Mirroring Part 1-4. The exhibition also features his Variations series from 2015.

The Beckers Art Award was established in 1987 and has been awarded to several of Sweden's most innovative and exciting young artists. Past recipients include Dan Wolgers (1989), Jockum Nordström (1999), Linn Fernström (2000) and Nathalie Djurberg (2006).

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