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The following information is text from an a review of a Jolin exhibition, October 9 2010 to January 9, 2011 at Liljevalchs Konstall in Stockholm. The exhibition title was ELEGANT EINAR-140 PAINTINGS BY JOLIN
the autumn's major exhibition, Liljevalchs casts new light on Einar
Jolin (1890-1976). Our presentation of the portraitist, still life
painter and Stockholm portrayer is a reappraisal and a reconstruction
of Jolin's playful elegance.
Elegant Einar is a thematic exhibition, in which works from the
1910s and 1920s are interwoven with Jolin's later production. Where
some have complained about "surface" we point to style, and where
others have exclaimed "mass production" we highlight an artist who
never grew tired of using the refinement of colours and lines to create
his own sophisticated universe.
The exhibition is produced in collaboration with Mjellby Konstmuseum.
Exhibition curators: Karolina Peterson and Mårten Castenfors.
Mårten Castenfors about Elegant Einar:
"The aim of the exhibition is to encourage the audience to see Einar
Jolin with new eyes - an artist who broke with modernism and completely
and unconditionally chose elegance, the beauty of the surface and a
bourgeoisie set of motifs. Jolin took an entirely different route than
his contemporary artist colleagues and thus became an isolated being in
the art world. My position is that he was an outsider, a solitary
figure. What I'm impressed by is Jolin's uncompromising attitude. He
was true to himself - Elegant Einar, Einar of the salons and the
"It's obvious that Jolin, in painting after painting, and in an
almost manic way, attempted to apply a cool, beautiful film over life,
while, under the surface, his head seems to be positively boiling. Look
at the repetitions of portraits, still lifes and Stockholm scenes. It
is the same views, the same elegant people, the same sophisticated
settings - with additions of funny animals, lost creatures. And it's
not difficult to imagine that Jolin identified with the inept, crazily
"The aim of Jolin's absolute orgy of smooth surfaces, style and
beauty appears to be to hold something at bay, to hold something back,
almost like an incantation. Perhaps it is this 'something' that the
exhibition can help the audience reflect on."
"In Liljevalchs' galleries we will exhibit 140 works in a thematic
hanging. We have organised the paintings round different motifs -
portraits, still lifes, Stockholm scenes, and so on. Never before has
Jolin been presented in this manner and with this kind of selection. I
am convinced that his painting can be rediscovered time and time again.
I also believe that a younger audience - perhaps especially those who
work in fashion, lifestyle and with a kind of surface that represents
something - can discover him through this exhibition."
Briefly about the artist: Einar Jolin was born in August 1890 and
was raised in an affluent family of academics on Kammakargatan in
Stockholm. He received his father's permission to embark on an artistic
career and was soon part of a circle of artists influenced by Matisse,
which included Leander Engström, Isaac Grünewald, Sigrid Hjertén and
Per Krogh. In other words, Einar Jolin secured a position among the
colourful and bold modernists and enjoyed close international contacts.
It could have carried on like that, if, in the mid-1930s, he hadn't
chosen a different route than his artist colleagues.
Einar Jolin now turned away from modernism's narrative painting
about a new time, to the elegant salons populated by beautiful people
and refined style ideals. Jolin became the portraitist of high society
lifestyle, the artist of fashion and interior decoration details. But
scratch the surface and you will find a tension between his cool
elegance and the frenetic repetition of similar motifs.
The new direction in Einar Jolin's painting quickly transformed him
into an odd bird in the art world. He was a very popular portraitist of
the rich and influential, but was almost marginalized in art circles.
Both during his life time and after, the art world has praised his
early work, while his late painting has often received harsh criticism
or been completely ignored.