Sigrid Hjerten


Artist Biography:

Sigrid Hjertén was a Swedish modernist painter, considered a major figure in Swedish modernism. Periodically she was highly productive and participated in a hundred and six exhibitions. Hjertén was born in Sundsvall in 1885. She studied at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm and graduated as a drawing teacher. At a studio party in 1909, Hjertén met her future husband, twenty-year-old Isaac Grünewald, who had already studied one year with Henri Matisse in Paris. Grünewald convinced her that she would do herself more justice as a painter. Later that year she went to Matisse’s art school. She was “said to have been Matisse’s favourite pupil because of her fine sense of colour.” Hjertén’s total production amounted to slightly more than five hundred paintings, together with sketches, water-colours and drawings. Hjertén had to fight the prejudices of her time throughout her career. Her paintings seem extremely personal for the era in which they were made, when issues of colour and form were uppermost in artists’ minds. Her interest in humankind was often manifested in dramatic, even theatrical compositions, while her approach to colour was emotional as well as theoretical.

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