Bengt Lindström

Born: 1925 Birthplace: Storsjö Kapell, Sweden

Bengt Lindström was born in Storsjö Kapell (Sweden) in 1925. After studying in Paris with André Lhote and Fernand Leger, Lindstrom began showing his work in 1950. He has had many shows in Europe and the US. Although his art is close to that of COBRA and he was a friend of Asger Jorn and often exhibited with Appel, he never belonged to the group. Lindström is a loner, untamed in the finest sense of the word. Initiated to Shamanism by his Godfather, a shaman himself, he builds up reserves of imagination every summer with the Lapp people with whom he enjoys a privileged relationship. Dense, charnel matter, the exclusive use of pure colour, transmits cosmic energy and elevates the sagas of the Northern peoples to the height of their intensity. Lindstom’s prints and paintings offer an excessive, theatrical vision of life. (It does not surprise one to learn that he has often illustrated Shakespeare.) His work hs been widely shown in Europe and the US: there have been over 190 one-persons shows of his work at museums and galleries in Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the U.S. and Uruguay; he has been featured in such international events as the Venice Biennalle, FIAC, the Salon de Mai, and the Carnegie International; his works are included in the permanent collections of over 38 museums, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Centre Pompidou, the Musée d’art Moderne (Paris), the Louisiana Museum (Denmark), the Tate (London), and the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburgh). A museum dedicated to his work will soon be completed in Sweden; among other works, it will include all of his over 800 prints.


“From time immemorial man, as an artist, has stood at the center of creation. He has sighted human forms in the mountains, everywhere he has cast his own image. He has ascribed power to the gods he has given birth to, and he has looked to them for order or chaos. Bengt Lindstrom acknowledges, converses with or fights against these primordial, multiple, contradictory gods, fathers or mothers of the world and man. They help him to express himself, he is fascinated by their origin. At first they were glances, their eye was the sun or the moon, they were born of the wind, of thunder, of rain . . . . The painter underscores, as myths do, the analogies between the eye and the stars, the mouth and the river. . . . He paints as an immenseness a glance or the detail of a face to express immoderation; gods become signs that speak of birth, fusion, coherence or disorder” (Michel Perrin in Eva-Britt Tiger, Lindström, pp. 14-19].

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