Birger Carlstedt Paintings

Here is a selection paintings from Birger Carlstedt (1907-1975), a noted pioneer of Modern Art in Finland.

Composition in Green, c. 1950's, oil on hardboard, 60 x 72 cm. Hagelstam Auctions, 2008

Paysage Étrange, 1950, oil on canvas, 82 x 100 cm. Ateneum Art Museum

Composition, c. 1950s

Composition III, 1950, oil on hardboard, 73 x 60 cm. Bukowskis Auctions, 2007

Composition, oil on board, 33.5 x 24.5 cm. Bukowskis Auctions, 2001

Composition, 1954, oil on hardhardboard, 74 x 60 cm. Ateneum Art Museum

Machine Tour Ante, 1954, oil, 72 x 59 cm. Pro Artibus

Mouvement Tournant, 1954, oil, 80 x 100 cm. Amos Art Museum

Composition in Violet, oil on hardboard, 62 x 50 cm. Hagelstam Auctions

Composition, 1953, oil on board, 29 x 24 cm. Bukowskis Auctions, 2010

Composition, c. 1965, 66 x 49 cm

This painting marked the end of Carlstedt's figurative period. Le Cathédrale Engloutie, 1949

One of Carlstedt's earlier surrealist inspired pieces. Distant Melody, 1946. Amos Museum

 Interior design sketch for his mother's café "Chat Doré", 1929, gouache.  Amos Art Museum

General Information:
Artist: Birger Jarl Carlstedt
Nationality: Finnish
Birth: July 12, 1907 in Helsinki, Finland
Death: October 2, 1975 in Helsinki
Education: 1926-28, Finnish Academy of Fine Art and Central School of Art and Design in Helsinki.
Style Influences: Earlier works- Surrealism, Expressionism. Later works- Geometric Abstractionism

Points of Interest:
• He was recognized as an early pioneer of Modern Art in Finland (see point below)
• After receiving much criticism for his modernist abstract works at a 1932 solo exhibition in Helsinki, Carlstedt reverted back to focusing on more traditional figurative works.
• It is said he didn't have the patience to obtain a formal art training in school and preferred to educate himself through magazines, books and frequent trips abroad, hence only 2 years of schooling.
• Besides painting, he was also interested in designing interiors, furniture and textiles. In 1929 he designed the interior of his mother's café, "Chat Doré" (see sketch above).
• He was interested in studying the relationships of color and created what he called a "Color Piano," which consisted of strips of paper, painted in numerous colors and shades. He would then use the strips to observe the interaction of the colors with one another before choosing them for his paintings.
• He was married to famous French pianist France Ellegaard. Listen to a 1953 recording of her playing below.
• An on a separate note- doesn't Carlstedt look like the actor Matt Damon!?

Related Links:
Go to- Short biography
Go to- Finnish wiki page for Carlstedt- translated to English

Above is a 1953 recording of his wife France Ellegaard, a famous French pianist.
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