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Peter DAHL

(1934 - 2019)

Peter Dahl was born in Oslo in 1934. To escape the war, Dahl’s family left Norway for Sweden in 1939. The artist obtained Swedish citizenship in 1954. A pupil at the Kungliga Konsthögskolan (Royal Institute of Art) in Stockholm (1958-1963), the artist went on to have an esteemed career as a teacher: he taught at the Gerlesborgsskolan (Gerlesborg School of Fine Art, 1959-1969); the Akademin Valand (now part of the Högskolan för konst och design, HDK-Valand)in Gothenburg (1971-1973) and at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm (1975-1979).

Dahl’s artistic career was punctuated by three main events that generated a great deal of media coverage and subsequent recognition. In 1970, he exhibited a painting entitled The Breakthrough of Liberalism in Society (from the series Dreams in the sofa corner), an acerbic criticism of Swedish bourgeois values, at the Gothenburg Art Gallery. The painting was seized by the authorities on the grounds of defamation and not to be seen for the next six months, an act of censorship which thrust the artist into the spotlight. This event conferred on the artist a reputation for being a rebel and a nonconformist. The painting in question has now become part of Gothenburg Art Museum’s permanent collection. In 1982, his painting Parken (The Park)  –  an expressive artwork shown at the Artist’s House in Stockholm – gave Dahl his first true public break. In 1984, the painter kept up this positive momentum with Fredman’s Epistles, a series of 87 lithographs exhibited all around Sweden, which cemented his reputation.

The renowned painter, printmaker and sculptor Dahl is identifiable by his nebulous lines, regardless of the medium, which he uses to depict scenes of his daily life, friends and family. Rococo elements found their way into his paintings in the later stages of his career.

Dahl passed away in 2019.

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