Paul Fägerskiöld – Visual Poetry in Monochrome Landscapes

Paul Fägerskiöld, born in Stockholm in 1982, is a Swedish artist whose work explores the fundamental nature of painting. His approach is not to create illusions of three-dimensionality or to convey narrative content, but rather to emphasize the tactile, real nature of painting. As viewers, we are invited to engage with the materiality in his paintings.

Fägerskiöld received his artistic training at the renowned Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm and at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. His oeuvre is always characterized by a minimalist aesthetic, exploring various themes in different series.

One of his series of works, for example, deals intensively with the influence of space and time and their analog transfer to the canvas. For this purpose, he uses astronomy software to record the positions of celestial bodies in a special symbiosis of past, present and future. From a distance, these depictions are perceived as dark monochrome surfaces. Upon closer inspection, they turn out to be complex and rich in detail, revealing the depth of the underlying brushstrokes.

Paul Fägerskiöld, Mexico City, Mexico. View south. January 1 2100., 2023, Oil and Acrilyc on linen, 180 × 306 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Mexico City, Mexico. View south. January 1 2100., 2023, Oil and Acrilyc on linen, 180 × 306 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Paul Fägerskiöld, Tikal, Guatemala. View north. January 1 2100., detail © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Tikal, Guatemala. View north. January 1 2100., detail © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake

In another series of works, Fägerskiöld examines painting as a means of communication. From a distance, these surfaces also appear monochrome at first, but on closer inspection, countless colored dots can be seen. These paintings are created using a special drip-and-spit technique with acrylic paint from spray cans (see images below).

Some of these grainy monochrome color fields dissolve towards the edges and have no clearly defined boundaries. With these works, Fägerskiöld demands active participation from the viewer, suggesting that the perceptible content is dependent on the viewer’s actions and perspectives.

Paul Fägerskiöld always focuses on the basic elements of painting – color, form and canvas. His intentional work with geometric forms and his concentration on the physical presence of color lead us back to the fundamental questions of art. How is a painting defined, and what significance does the materiality of a work of art have? Conscious interaction with his paintings is fundamental, as many only reveal their full potential on closer inspection.

Fägerskiöld has established himself internationally in the art world, with exhibitions in galleries in Europe and the USA, and is represented in important museum collections. With his minimalist works, he skillfully challenges the perception of art and encourages deep reflection.

Paul Fägerskiöld, Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 240 x 310 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Untitled, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 240 x 310 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Paul Fägerskiöld, Untitled, 2013, acrylic on canvas with walnut frame, 204 x 244 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Untitled, 2013, acrylic on canvas with walnut frame, 204 x 244 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Paul Fägerskiöld, Untitled, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 242 x 313 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake
Untitled, 2012, acrylic on canvas, 242 x 313 cm © The Artist, Image Courtesy Galerie Nordenhake

Further Reading / Resources

https://nordenhake.com/artists/paul-faegerskioeld

https://www.artsy.net/artist/paul-fagerskiold

Aesence is an independent art and design publication dedicated to minimalist aesthetics. Founded out of a deep appreciation and fascination, Aesence aims to promote awareness and appreciation of minimalism in art and design.