Öyvind Fahlström

Biography of Öyvind Fahlström

Öyvind Fahlström was an extremely versatile artist, capable of turning his hand to a great many disciplines and always looking for new ways to experiment. His often challenging work demands a great deal of vigilance and even patience from the viewer. Born in Sao Paulo in 1928, he moved to Sweden permanently after World War II and quickly established himself as a writer and journalist. His move to New York in 1961 proved to be timely and he was soon involved in the New Realists exhibition at Sidney Janis Gallery in 1962. This exposure helped him become a spearhead of American pop art, but his increasing concern with politics drew him further away from mainstream success. However, his politically charged work combined with his concern with dystopian futures has made him all the more pertinent today.

A typical Öyvind Fahlström exhibition could contain poetry, manifestos, performance, installations, sculpture, and painting. His graphic works have helped spread his ideas throughout the world—ideas he stridently hoped gave worthy alternatives to capitalist ideals. Fahlström died in 1976 aged only 47. His work is now collected around the world and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. 

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