August Strindberg (1849-1912) Painter and Photographer

August StrindbergWave VII© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Jean Schormans
Famous for his dramatic literary works, Strindberg proves also to be an exceptional creator of pictures. The exhibition is the first retrospective in France devoted to this artist who practised, besides his literary output, graphic arts: drawing, sculpture, but above all painting and photography.

Strindberg painted during three periods of his life: from 1872 to 1874, from 1892 to 1894 and for a few years after 1900. Even though he did not attend art classes, his paintings demonstrate a great power of expression. In parallel, he developed a theory of art that anticipated the surrealism and abstract impressionism of the twentieth century, with the main text entitled "On Chance in Artistic Production". The canvas thus gives room to surprises and unexpected encounters: in The Land of Marvels, a painting dated 1894, the forest countryside overlooking the sea turns into a subterranean grotto. In his photographic works, Strindberg reproduced the same principles, also over three periods: 1886-1888, 1890-1894 and 1905-1907. Wavering between a temptation to produce documentaries and experimental research, he wrote that he was looking for "truth [...] intensely, as I look for it in many other fields".


Per Hedström, curator, Stockholm National Museum and Quentin Bajac, curator, Musée d'Orsay.


48/14, La revue du musée d'Orsay, issue # 13, Autumn 2001
Musée d'Orsay / Réunion des musées nationaux
€ 11

Exhibition catalogue
Strindberg, Painter and Photographer
New Haven : Yale University Press
€ 29.73

16 October 2001 - 27 January 2002
Musée d'Orsay

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