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Gosta (Gan) Adrian-Nilsson



Adrian-Nilsson, Gosta [GAN]

(b Lund, 2 April 1884; d Stockholm, 29 March 1965). Swedish painter. After studying at Zahrtmanns Skole, Copenhagen, in 1914 he went to Berlin; both Kandinsky and Franz Marc were of great importance to his development at this time of a semi-abstract style with deep, glowing colours. He developed his own style of expressive Cubism (e.g. Sailors’ War Dream, 1917; Malmö, Kstmus.). He was captivated by modern technology and masculine strength, and this was often reflected in his work. In 1919 he began producing purely non-objective work, and he made numerous collages c. 1920 in a Dadaist spirit. Between 1920 and 1925 he lived in Paris, coming into contact with Alexander Archipenko and Fernand Léger. Léger’s influence can partly be seen in his depiction of figures as robotic human shapes in the form of sportsmen, seamen and soldiers. Adrian-Nilsson also produced geometric abstract work in the late 1920s. In the 1930s he developed a personal approach to Surrealism, participating in exhibitions such as Kubisme-Surrealisme in Copenhagen (1935). During the 1940s his work again became purely abstract. He was influential to the members of the Halmstad group, particularly during their Surrealist phase. His later work was nearer to Romantic painting, inspired by the Swedish landscape painter Marcus Larson. He signed his works ‘GAN’.




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