Gösta Adrian-Nilsson - GAN

Born in Lund, Sweden in 1884. Died in Stockholm in 1965.

Solo-shows at Galerie Bel'Art: 1981, 1983, 1987, 1995

CV (in Swedish)

Gösta Adrian-Nilsson was born on April 2nd in Lund, Sweden. His parents, Nils and Anna Nilsson had moved there, as small farmers. They ran a Farmers Shop (Hökeri), in the new working end of town “Nya Stan”, in popular parlance called, “Nöden”.

He graduated an Advanced A level (Studentexamen), at the “Katedralskolan” in Lund.

He studied Art at the Technical Society School (Teknisk selskabs skole) in Copenhagen. He then moved to Stockholm for the first time.

He did his military service at Revingehed.

He had his debut as a poet with a collection of poems, Dikter and as an artist with an exhibition in the Art-museum of Lund’s University, all done in the spirit of Art Nouveau. He then returned to Lund.

He released his second poetry collection, Sånger om kärleken och döden, with drawn vignettes in Art Nouveau style. He was admitted into the circle of Bengt Lindforss, the so-called Lund-bohemian.

He participated in a group exhibition in Malmö. The Short story- collection Porträttet och andra berättelser was published. During the winter GAN was studying with Kristian Zahrtmann’s school in Copenhagen, which had Johan Rohde as a teacher.

His Short-story collection Den försvunna modellen och andra berättelser, was published. There was an exhibition in Lund, of Landscape and Portraits.

He moved to Berlin, where he got to know Herwarth and Nell Walden. He derived strong impressions from the exhibitions at gallery Der Sturm, foremost from the Erster Deutcher Herbstsalon. He began to use a modernistic expression, which was inspired by Der Blaue Reiter-group’s expressionism, the Italian futurism and the French cubism/orphism.

Got the job as director (“künstlerischer Erklärer”), in Bruno Taut’s Glashaus at the exhibition of the Deutscher Werkbund, in the summer of 1914, in Cologne. He returned to Lund at the onset of the war in August and met in the fall the mechanical engineer, Egon Östlund in Motala.

He participated in the exhibition Schwedische Expressionisten at the “Der Sturm”, in Berlin. For the first time he showed his new modernistic paintings in his hometown on a separate exhibition in Lund, at the University’s Museum of Art (together with Einar Jolin). He had the lampoon, Konst och kritik published.

He wrote an introduction about Kandinsky, in for his exhibition in Stockholm, at Gummeson Art gallery and published an insertion about Franz Marc in the “Der Sturm”. He had his debut in Stockholm with a separate exhibition at Gummeson Art gallery and in conjunction with this moved for the second time to Stockholm.

Had a manifesto published in the publication Flamman and a drawing in “Der Sturm”. He had an exhibition at “Gallery Der Sturm”, together with Paul Klee and Gabriele Münter. He then started to visit Halmstad as Egon Östlund had moved there.

Separate exhibition with the title Sjömanskompositioner at Gummeson Art gallery with program explanation in the catalog.

Participated with large collections, in three different collective exhibitions at Liljevalch’s Konsthall in Stockholm. During a summer visit to Halmstad, GAN got, through Egon Östlund to know the young painters Axel Olson, Erik Olson and Waldemar Lorentzon, these together with Sven Jonson, Stellan Mörner and Esaias Thorén created the Halmstad-group, ten years later.

He moved to Paris, where he resided until 1925, only interrupted by two long visits to Sweden in 1922 and 1923. He painted the Eiffel Tower. He here got to know Fernand Léger and Alexander Archipenko as well as the composer Viking Dahl, Moses Pergament and Gösta Nystroem.

He participated in the Salon des Indépendants and wrote his program-script Den gudomliga geometrien. He started a collaboration with Moses Pergament respectively Gösta Nystroem to do sketches for a ballet project. He also started to do a series of collages, inspired by Max Ernst. He traveled to Bidart and Bayonne in the south of France. In the fall he moved to 86, rue Nôtre-Dame-des-Champs in Montparnasse.

He visited Albert Gleizes. Den gudomliga geometrien, was published with the help from Gösta Nystroem. Visited for the first time in eight years Berlin, where he had a separate exhibition at “Der Sturm”. He visited Sweden during the summer.

He continued to work in his synthetic-cubistic style and created among others a series of sketches for Ishavsbaletten, with music of Gösta Nystroem. Then he had a separate exhibition in Göteborg and Stockholm. He yet again visited Stockholm for the summer.

He introduced Waldemar Lorentzon and Erik Olson to Léger’s Academie Moderne, where Otto G. Carlsund also was a student. He got to know Wiwen Nilsson. He painted Olympiad, inspired by the summer Olympics in Paris. He then worked intensively during the fall and winter with his folkviseilluminationer.

The folksongs were finished. He moved back to Lund in May. In the fall he exhibited together with Wiwen Nilsson in Lund’s University’s Art-hall.

He exhibited The Folksongs in Gummeson’s Konstgalleri, in Stockholm.

He executed wall paintings in “Hantverksföreningens”, The Artisan’s celebration hall in Lund. He did a separate exhibition in Malmö’s museum.

He decorated the restaurant Tunneln in Malmö. He got commissioned to draw two big pile rugs for “Skånska Brand” as well as “Gamla Sparbanken” in Lund. He got to know Sven Jonson and Esaias Thorén in Halmstad. He had an exhibition in Göteborg’s Konstmuseum together with Christian Berg, Otto G. Carlsund and Erik Olson. The ballet Krelantems och Eldeling, was cast at the Opera with music by Moses Pergament and with stage design and costumes by GAN.

Kulturens Konstslöjdanstalt (The Art center’s Art-Handicraft) in Lund, weaved four pieces of tapestry according to Gan: s model’s, among others Finnsagan. The tapestries were shown at Kulturens Konst- and Konstindustriutställning (Art industrial exhibition) in August-September, where also the newly formed Halmstad group participates.

He did a separate exhibition in Svartbrödraklostret (Krognoshuset) in Lund. He then participated in the Art Concret-exhibition at the Stockholm exhibition in 1930, with plane geometrical paintings. He did his last journey to Berlin.

Moved yet again to Stockholm, where he resided till his death only interrupted by yearly visits to Lund and Skåne.

In the mid-thirties he orientated himself towards surrealism and was writing art critic for the magazine Konstrevy. He exhibited among others in Stockholm, Göteborg, Norrköping, Halmstad, Lund, Malmö and Copenhagen. In 1949, Nils Lindgren’s monograph about GAN was released. He participated in 1953 in the exhibition L’art suédois 1913-1953, at Galerie Denise René in Paris. He had a large retrospective exhibition at Liljevalch Konsthall in 1958; and the last separate exhibition at the Svensk-Franska Konstgalleriet in Stockholm 1963. He was awarded the Sydsvenska Dagbladets Kulturpris 1960 (The South Swedish Daily Newspapers Art award 1960), and also as one of the first 25 people to receive a Government Art Reward, in 1964.

He died in Stockholm, on March 29th and was buried in Lund. There was a memorial exhibition at Skånska Konstmuseum, in Lund’s University’s House.

GAN and Wiwen Nilsson, exhibition at Lunds Konsthall.

Exhibition of Svenskt avantgarde in Norrköping Konstmuseum, Where GAN plays a prominent role.
GAN-exhibition at Prins Eugens Waldemarsudde, in Stockholm.

Pionjären GAN (GAN the Pioneer), exhibition at Galerie Bel’Art in Stockholm.

Large Époque exhibition, Léger et esprit moderne, at the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, here GAN was honored with his own room and showing seven works. This exhibition was also shown in Geneva and Houston, Texas.

Pionjären GAN - works on paper (GAN the Pioneer), exhibition at Galerie Bel’Art in Stockholm. Skånsk wandering exhibition in commemoration of the 100-Year-jubelee of GAN’s birth, produced by Ystad Art Museum in collaboration with Kulturen in Lund.

100-Year-jubilee at Liljevalch Konsthall, Stockholm and in Malmö Konsthall an extensive catalogue was released. Lille Olle's resa with text by Lennart Hellsing was published by Rabén och Sjögren, Stockholm.

The municipality in Lund is attaching a plate of commemoration to GAN’s house of birth. The first half of the monograph over GAN, by Jan Torsten Ahlstrand is released.

Exhibition at Galerie Bel’Art, Stockholm, De tre små sjömännens äventyr I Paris.

Pionjären GAN (GAN the Pioneer), exhibition at Galerie Bel’Art in Stockholm

Exhibition at Galerie Bel’Art, Stockholm, GAN’s plangeometri – paintings and drawings.

Kulturen in Lund, is inaugurating a new base exhibition about the modernists with GAN and Wiwen Nilsson as the prominent figures, and the precursors of the Yearbook Aspekter på modernismen.

The exhibition Schwedische Expressionisten, at the Der Sturm, in Berlin in 1915, is shown in a reconstructed form at the Felix-Nussbaum-Haus in Osnabrück and at Kulturen in Lund, the latter in conjunction with the Swedish-Danish cultural project Kulturbro 2000. The Epoch exhibition Utopi och verklighet, about Swedish modernism, is shown at the Moderna Museet, in Stockholm, with a considerable number of works by GAN. A part of the exhibition travelled to New York the following year.

GAN-exhibition at Mjellby Konstmuseum in Halmstad. An extensive catalogue was published.

GAN - modernistpionjär och outsider, retrospective exhibition at Waldemarsudde, Stockholm, Malmö Konstmuseum and Norrköpings Konstmuseum. A comprehensive monograph about the artist, with text by Jan Torsten Ahlstrand will be published by Carlssons bokförlag, Stockholm

Exhibition at Galerie Bel'Art, Stockholm - works on paper 1915 - 1924, Galerie Bel'Art 40 years anniversary, catalogue