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 Einar (Johan Einar) Jolin  (1890 - 1976)

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Lived/Active: Sweden      Known for: portrait, genre and still life painting

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

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

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 cocktail parties."

"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 painted animals."

"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.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Johan Einar Jolin, a Swedish landscape and portrait painter, was born August 7 1890 in Adolf Fredrik Parish, Stockholm and died August 29 1976 in St George Parish, Stockholm.  He was the son of Professor Severin Jolin (1852-1919) and grandson of actor John Christopher Jolin (1818-1884).

He studied at the Technical School in Stockholm in 1906 and Artist Association's School of Painting before 1907, and then, with his friend Isaac Grünewald, traveled to Paris for further study of art until 1914 with Henri Matisse.

He married three times: first (1921-1936) with Britt von Zweigbergk; the second time (1943-1950) with Clorinda Campbell Kissack; and third time married in 1952 with singer Tatjana Angelini-Scheremetiew (1923-2006).



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