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An art collector’s words

That art would become such a big part of my life was far from certain. I was born outside Tavastehus in Finland but moved to Sweden with my mother at the age of three months, first to a suburb outside Stockholm and later to Värmdö. Already during my upbringing, I felt motivated to earn my own money and to become independent, which was rooted in a desire to change my existence and future for the better. My father taught me to weld when I was fifteen and when I got older I started working in the same company as him. It didn’t take long until I advanced upwards and soon I was promoted to become manager at the company. Even as a child I had dreamed of one day starting my own business and working for myself, and in 2008 it came true when I started my current business in piping systems.

It was my former employer who sparked my interest in art, he himself was very interested in art and I got to accompany him to exhibitions and auction viewings. Several times we visited Moderna Museet in Stockholm and at the Konstnärsklubben’s annual auction above the restaurant KB, we often sat in the audience. I soaked up with great curiosity the atmosphere of this enchanting and to me until now unknown world. Each time we visited a gallery or auction house, I learned about new artists and made new acquaintances. Ever since I was young, I have been interested in shares and always found great excitement in opportunities to develop something over time. In the art industry, I saw several similarities with the financial world, but it also raised some difficult questions. How could some works be so expensive while others, created by the same artist, could be bought for significantly less money? What factors actually determined whether an artist would have a successful career or be constantly overtaken by others? I decided early on not to be affected by trends, as there seemed to be no logic to it anyway, and instead only purchase art that actually spoke to me. I bought my first painting in 1993 via Nylunds Konst och Ram in Stockholm, a place I often visited together with my former employer. The artist was Stefano Mercatali and I still have it today.

Upon closer reflection, it is no coincidence that Lars-Gunnar Nordström became such a central artist in my life. The first time I saw his work was at the Moderna Museet and almost at the same time an exhibition with his works was shown at Galerie Bel’Art in Stockholm. Since Nordström, like me, came from Finland, I saw a direct connection to myself and was attracted by his simple, elegant compositions with their hard-lacquered surface. I immediately started reading about his life and wanted to learn more about his artistry. A compelling life story unfolded and despite never having met him, I felt an immediate kinship with his background. During the war, the young Nordström was completely destitute and the only thing of value he had were the buttons on his military uniform. Through talent and enterprise, he managed to create a life for himself that, as a young man, he could only dream of, not very far from my own background. At the end of the 1990s, I started to buy works by Lars-Gunnar Nordström and the idea of collecting several works by the same artist appealed to me more and more. Finally, I had managed to collect 32 works, some larger paintings on panel and several small sketches and collages.

Every chapter in life must eventually come to an end, and now the time has come for me to let go of the collection of works by Lars-Gunnar Nordström. Discovering, learning about and understanding this multifaceted artistry has been a true joy and now my hope is to get to know more artists as I continue to collect. Art has become one of my greatest passions in life and I look forward to new challenges with great excitement.

Lots to be sold at our special sale “Lars-Gunnar Nordström”
Auction: 26 September 2023 at 6 PM
Saleroom: Nybrogatan 20, Stockholm, Sweden

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Knut Knutson

Head specialist

Phone: +46 (0)708-12 12 27

Jeanna Ahlin


Modern & Contemporary Art
Phone: +46 (0)734-32 41 45