Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd looking at the hologram ”Whole Kilroy”, 1977 Photo: Hans Bjelkhagen

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd – a pioneer in art holograms

A lecture by Professor Hans Bjelkhagen

5.11 2019


Welcome to a lecture about Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s holograms. Reuterswärd was among the first to utilise new technologies such as lasers and holograms. He started using laser in 1962, and both techniques helped him to expand the concept of sculpture. Join us to hear Professor Hans Bjelkhagen talk about his collaboration with the artist on holograms, which began in 1972. Several of Reuterswärd’s holograms will be described with illustrations, and white-light holograms will be shown at the lecture.

The collaboration between Hans Bjelkhagen and Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd

Professor Hans Bjelkhagen collaborated with Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd on most of his hologram art in the 1970s. The Moderna Museet collection includes the work “Whole Kilroy” from 1978, one of Reuterswärd’s holograms to be featured in the exhibition “Alias: CFR”. But Reuterswärd’s fascination for lasers and holograms began much earlier.

In the mid-1960s, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd contacted Professor Nils Abramson at KTH – Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, which had a holography lab. In 1972, Hans Bjelkhagen began collaborating with Reuterswärd on creating holograms. Reuterswärd and Bjelkhagen worked together on most of his holograms in the 1970s. These pieces were produced at the holographic laboratories at the KTH – Royal Institute of Technology or at Lasergruppen Holovision AB.

Reuterswärd featured at the Museum of Holography in New York

In 1978, Reuterswärd was the first European artist to be featured in a solo show at the Museum of Holography in New York. Reuterswärd concentrated almost exclusively on “Kilroy” for ten years. This work of art consists of nine parts, which were reproduced as holograms in 1977.

One of Reuterswärd’s major, and possibly most interesting, holograms is “Smoke without Fire or Gateaux Gabor” from 1978, in which he incorporated an interference pattern as a substantial part of the work. Other examples of his holograms are “Finger Language” from 1973, which consists of four reflection holograms that can be shown with ordinary white light, and the reflection hologram “Kilroy’s Heart” from 1975.

In “Cross Reference”, Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd poses as Salvador Dalí. Reuterswärd’s moustache was shaped into the letters C and R, the initials of both the work and his first and last names.

On the exhibition: Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd – Alias: CFR