Hardy Strid’s 50s – drawn modernism

27 March–30 May 2021
Free admission

Hardy Strid (1921–2012), born in Haverdal, Halmstad, was a Swedish painter, illustrator, graphic artist and glass artist. He was one of the initiators of Teckningsmuseet (The Museum of Drawings). In his youth, he painted works inspired by The Halmstad Group’s surrealism, and later also came to be impressed by Dadaism. Between 1947 and 1952, Strid studied at Valand’s art school in Gothenburg, which at that time was under the direction of the influential and controversial artist Endre Nemes. Nemes, who was from Hungary, brought new modernist impulses to Sweden. He became of great importance to Hardy Strid, whose art during the 1950s was drawn in an abstract direction with inspiration from e.g. cubism. This was a time when abstract art was seen as a modern and universal design language, unloaded by totalitarian ideologies. An art of color, shape, lines and surfaces that could be understood and practiced globally. Abstract art had already emerged in the 1910s, with a prehistory of partially abstracted painting, but it was after the Second World War that such expressions became truly significant.

During the 1960s, many felt that abstract art had become increasingly difficult to develop. Instead, imaginative, quoting, style-mixing and political art became dominant. In the early 60’s, Hardy Strid was involved in the creation of the artist group Bauhaus Situationiste together with, among others, the former Valand comrade Jörgen Nash. Bauhaus Situationists were critical of the capitalist society, which they considered to divide people into cultural producers and passive spectators. Strid continued to experiment and his art took on new expressions, often inspired by collage. He was also involved in starting up Fria Målarskolan in Halmstad in 1973 and KAF (the artists’ general trade union) in 1975.

Of the drawings we see in this exhibition, many are most likely models of paintings or lithographs. The museum has many drawings of Hardy Strid in its collection, and the ones we show here differ from other drawings through their non-imaginative expression.

Note: We have set a maximum limit of 15 visitors at a time, so that everyone can feel safe and keep their distance without problems. However, the café and drawing studio will be closed for the time being.