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Swedish visual artist
Erik Sigerud is a Swedish visual artist, born in Borlänge, Sweden.
Sigerud grew up in Västerås and in Falun. Afterwards, at the age of 19, he moved to Paris, where he lived for seven years. Also, he lived in Berlin for one year. During two years Sigerud lived in Gothenburg, Sweden. At the present time Sigerud works as in Stockholm as a painter.
Erik Sigerud is a contemporary artist who works with painting. In his work he presents the idea of two separate interactions.
To begin with, Sigerud is drawn to paintings with complex combinations of styles and subjects. As a result, he incorporates a wide range of genres into his work. In other words, he creates paintings with various reading levels.
Second, Sigerud takes interest in how private views interact with one another. And their relationship to the public sphere.
Finally, Sigerud explores the link between understandings of culture and identity. As a result, he creates mental representations that filter political events via his life experiences.
Beaux-Arts de Paris
When Sigerud lived in Falun, he studied at an upper secondary school majoring in art. While in Paris, he first did a foundation year at a preparatory art school called Prep’Art. Afterwards, Sigerud studied for five years with Vladimir Veličković and Dominique Gauthier at the Beaux-Arts de Paris. That is the National School of Art Paris. And, he graduated with the Diplôme national supérieur d’arts plastiques (Dnsap), which is equal to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA).
Also, Sigerud did a half-year Erasmus exchange, in the studio of Lothar Baumgarten, at the Universität der Künste Berlin. That is the Berlin University of the Arts. When in Gothenburg, Sigerud studied a year of critical studies at HDK-Valand – Academy of Art and Design. During this time, he also studied philosophy at Gothenburg University. When in Stockholm, Sigerud first studied art philosophy at Stockholm University. Thereafter, he studied creative research processes at the University College of Arts Crafts and Design. Then he did a course in contemporary philosophy at Södertörn University. Finally, Sigerud studied philosophy in the context of Art, with Catherine Malabou, at the Royal Institute of Art. All in all, Erik Sigerud’s studies have all been a part of his artistic research.
Erik Sigerud has made drawings and paintings since a young age. And during his school years in Sweden, he had several teachers who encouraged his artistic development. When in upper secondary school, Sigerud experimented with photography, printmaking and sculpture. Later, in preparatory art school, Sigerud learned what contemporary art means. Then he had to answer whether it was art or painting that was his primary interest. And, the answer was art. Once Sigerud entered the Beaux-Arts de Paris in 1999, he discovered that painting had a powerful position there. But painting had not yet returned to popularity in the international contemporary art scene. At the same time, the post-modern paradigm was still present in the minds of the students at Beaux-Arts. As a result, during his first years at Beaux-Arts, Sigerud experimented with the importance of context for painting.
Famous contemporary art
Furthermore, Sigerud drew inspiration from the sensations he experienced from captivating exhibitions. Both famous contemporary art exhibitions and art from older periods inspired the artist. For example, a large Mark Rothko exhibition, a video installation by Barbara Kruger and an installation by Claude Lévêque. Moreover, he drew inspiration from the documentation of performance artists from the 1960s. As well as writings by Albert Camus and Arthur Danto. Besides painting Sigerud worked with photography, performance, sound and video. Also, Sigerud studied morphology drawing, art history and aesthetics.
21st-century contemporary artists
Of course, there are many innovative and influential 21st-century contemporary artists working at Beaux-Arts. In addition to the tutoring from his studio professors, Sigerud had exchanges with other professors at the Beaux-Arts. For example, with Dominique Figarella, Jean–Marc Bustamante and Bernard Piffaretti. Likewise, with Sylvie Fanchon and Richard Deacon. Later, long after the Beaux-Arts, Sigerud had an important exchange with the artist Kristina Jansson in 2011. Then the two had a public conversation at wip:konsthall about Sigerud’s paintings.
Painting as a tool for reflection
Erik Sigerud is an artist who use painting as a tool for reflection and who constantly seek to develop his work. As a result, his work has diverged and developed over many years. Likewise, he sees each painting as a separate project rather than part of a series. Despite this, a whole has over time emerged.
A theme of the work of Erik Sigerud is an exploration of the synergy between linguistic descriptions and pictorial representations. Also, he works on abstract problems, such as the difference between reality and appearance. Furthermore, a goal is to paint an embodied thinking that can reach out and create meaning from within. And, to do this with symbols that make the spectator active. Moreover, Sigerud wish to create a painting that can communicate a view of a cultural tendency. Regardless of what the viewer knows about the artist and the context surrounding the painting.
Painting and its representation
At the beginning of his art studies, Sigerud focused on the gesture of the painting. And he viewed the exhibition of his paintings as installations. That is to say, Sigerud focused on the reaction of the spectators more than the painting as an object. Later, the work became more about the painting as both an object and a surface. Both the surface of the painting and its representation are in focus.
Politics and emotions
Sigerud mixes figuration with a non-figurative painting in several layers. Also, his painting depicts places, people and abstract fragments in dystopian scenes. Furthermore, they represent the culture in which the artist lives. As well as the normative man in this culture. Moreover, with his painting, Sigerud explores how culture and people create each other. He connects social interactions with world trends. And also, the relationship between politics and emotions.
The emancipated spectator
Sigerud finds visual inspiration from other paintings. And, at the conceptual level, he draws inspiration from definitions of politics. For instance, the question of who controls a picture or how perception creates reality. Furthermore, Sigerud frequently uses images from his sketchbooks, 3D models and family photo albums. Also, he finds pictures in the media and on the Internet. In addition, by stacking layers in different styles, Sigerud paints a visual and mental uncertainty. But, it is the liberating uncertainty of The emancipated spectator that Sigerud seeks. In order to advance each painting as far as possible, Sigerud plans his painting in Photoshop. But, during the actual execution of the painting the process takes over. Finally, the result consists of borrowed images, sketchbook visions and process-based images.
Above all, Erik Sigerud works with painting. Also, the medium is the most important subject in his work. Additionally, Sigerud’s drive stems from the need to make existence tangible. And, from a wish to contribute to discussions about art and painting. Because he feels frustrated that there are no objective common experience, he paints cracks between collective stories and a subjective perceptions. In order to understand ourselves and to manage the world around us, Sigerud believes that we create mental images. When we meet new places, new stories, and new people we rebuild these images. Therefore, his paintings are wordless mental images. And, these deal with, among other things, his fear of fascism and climate change. Furthermore, Sigerud asks, what emotions contribute to mental and collective images and political change. Also, he wonders how mental and collective images create each other.
Some of Sigerud’s artistic influences are Julie Mehretu, Katharina Grosse, Mark Lombardi, Albert Oehlen, Tauba Auerbach, Francisco Goya, Adrian Ghenie, Matthias Weischer and David Schnell.
Swedish contemporary artist
Erik Sigerud is a Swedish contemporary artist who has made many solo and group exhibitions in Sweden and abroad. Also, he has received numerous awards and is represented in private and public collections. For example, in the collections of the Swedish state, Tyresö and Uppsala Konstmuseum.
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