Wedding Night at SKF

Viktor Rosdahl, Wedding Night at SKF, 2009 © Viktor Rosdahl / Bildupphovsrätt 2010

Viktor Rosdahl

Viktor Rosdahl’s grandfather was a farmhand, his father was a welder, and his own art incorporates the existential history of the working class. His inspiration comes from political 1960s lithographs, history painting and mass media images. His art raises moral issues concerning work, power and politics, and how the life paths of individuals are informed by these factors.

In a recent work he uses acrylic glass. During the work process, the sculptural painting stood in the middle of his studio floor, and Rosdahl attacked it from all directions. The work has strong traces of his physical methods. When painting, he is constantly focused, and he compares this deep concentration with the alienation entailed in mechanical labour. Part of the power of his oeuvre lies in the tension that arises between his time-consuming painting and the brutality and unpredictability of, for instance, pouring paint over a painting that he has been working on for a whole year. The destructive effect of chance on that which is laboriously achieved stands in opposition to the mechanically produced.

In Wedding Night at SK F (2009) and Songs From the Engine (2009) he portrays a period in modern history that is coming to an end. In the latter painting both the sky and society are in a state of collapse. The sky was inspired by Van Gogh’s Night Café. To achieve the effect of a crumbling society, Viktor Rosdahl finally poured paint all over the painting in an uncontrollable flow. Both paintings are based on early 20thcentury postcards depicting Sweden’s proud industrial heritage, which was also when people began to sell their labour and time in a new way.

Viktor Rosdahl

Born 1980 in Helsingborg
Lives and works in Malmö and Stockholm


2002–2007 Konsthögskolan i Malmö/Malmö Art Academy, Malmö
2001–2002 Örebro Konstskola, Örebro
1999–2001 Birkagårdens Folkhögskolan, Stockholm

Selected solo exhibitions

2009 A Quiet Night In, Galleri Arnstedt, Stockholm
2009 Själporträtt från Nobelvägen, Galleri Christian Larsen, Stockholm
2008 Natt på Industrigatan, Galleri Magnus Åklundh, Malmö

Selected group exhibitions

2010 False Recognition, CAC, Vilnius [LT]
2009 Från det ena till det andra, Rumänska Kulturinstitutet, Stockholm
2008 Headlines & Footnotes, Henie Onstad Kunstcenter, Oslo [NO]

Selected bibliography

Viktor Rosdahl, A quiet night in, Galleri Arnstedt, 2009.
Ýrr Jónasdóttir, Thomas Millroth, På plats mitt i det upplevda: måleri i dag, Ystad Konstmuseum, 2008.
Viktor Rosdahl, Dröm stöpt i gyttja, 2007.

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