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(1932 - 1998)

Erik Höglund was born in Karlskrona in 1932. At the tender age of 16, he embarked on his artistic journey, studying drawing and painting (under Fritz Sjöström), and later sculpture (under Robert Nilsson) and graphic design (under Harald Sallberg) at Konstfack, the Swedish School of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm, graduating in 1952. Ever precocious, he married a classmate, Maerit Levin, his first wife, at the age of 21. A large family would follow, hence, perhaps, why family life influenced his art so regularly and explicitly.

The main turning point of his life and artistic career came in 1953 when Erik Rosén, the director of the Boda glassworks, enquired at the art school about a young glass-blower. Höglund, in spite of lacking substantial experience, gambled on himself. He ended up staying at Boda glassworks for 20 years and left an indelible mark on Swedish glassmaking practice. Keen to learn, but even keener not to disturb the qualified workers, he would practise glass-blowing and other techniques at night.

In 1954, a first scholarship carried him to the birthplaces of classical art, Greece and Italy. When he returned, his practice, which was still in the process of developing, had already attracted the attention of the Swedish National Museum, which had purchased a few of his artworks in anticipation of a major forthcoming exhibition.

Simultaneously unconventional and primal, a balance struck in the 1950s, Höglund’s work sparked a great deal of debate among glass-working circles. His purposefully flawed, colourful, bubble-rich figuration depicted faces, animals and other recognisable motifs, and became his artistic trade mark. Although they were not an immediate success in specialised shops, their unique qualities baffled many of the enthusiasts at the time. Nevertheless, Boda’s director had unwavering faith in Höglund. Rightfully so, as his protégé was awarded the prestigious Danish Lunning Prize in 1957. The honour put an end to the drought in sales, both in Sweden and internationally.

After 20 years at Boda, Höglund left the workshop (1973) to pursue his interests in metalworking and carpentry.

Throughout his career, the glassworker produced around 150 public works in the form of large mural glass windows in churches, schools and other public buildings. A surge in the popularity of glasswork in the 1980s allowed Höglund to cement his international reputation.

In spite of his deteriorating health, in the late 1980s and throughout the 1990s Höglund continued to create mostly esoteric compositions until his passing in 1998.

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