Olivier Herdies

Februari 17–May 26, 2024
Free admission

Olivier Herdies (1906–1993) was a Belgian-Swedish artist and poet, born in Brussels. After World War I, the family settled in an old house with a large, overgrown garden. The wild nature became a sanctuary for Olivier, inspiring him to start writing poems. The exhibition’s title, »Living one’s own life«, is taken from one of his early poems.

After studying at both the art academy and drama school in Brussels, he traveled around Europe as a cultural journalist. In 1937, he came to Stockholm. He decided to stay and supported himself as a writer and teacher of French. During a French language course, he met his future wife, Gudrun Huss.

Eventually, Olivier began organizing exhibitions with Stockholm-based artists. Gradually, he himself started to draw. One day, while listening to Bach music, he spontaneously approached a friend’s desk, dipped his fingers in ink, and began creating abstract paintings on sheets of paper. This marked the beginning of Olivier’s artistic journey.

Over the years he created both large-scale, black-and-white ink drawings as well as abstract paintings in vibrant colors. The themes from his earlier poems recurred in his art, where his love for nature and memories of the vast garden persisted. From 1955 onwards he participated in several group and solo exhibitions, primarily in Sweden but also in Paris and Edinburgh.

Olivier Herdies passed away in 1993 at the age of 87.