Åmells is finishing this year strong by presenting its annual Autumn Exhibition with an exceptional selection of art historically significant works by some of the most prominent Nordic artists. Unquestionably, the pièce de réstistance of the exhibition is Inferno from 1903 by August Strindberg - a temperamental painting and a testament to a dramatic phase in the artist's personal life. The painting is even considered a kind of mental self-portrait of Strindberg's. The exhibition also features several works by our foremost Swedish painters, where especially the works by Bruno Liljefors and Carl Larsson illustrates the immense level of talent that these artists had throughout their lives. Anders Zorn is also included in the Autumn Exhibition with a study for his portrait of Prince Carl of Sweden (1861-1951).
Both classical and modern art is featured in The Autumn Exhibition, and this year Swedish Modernism is represented by the likes of Gösta Adrian-Nilsson (GAN) and his characteristic seamen, as well as the vibrant work The tram [Spårvagnen] by Olle Olsson-Hagalund, where the artist himself can be seen in the crowd on board the tram.
In the exhibition, the art viewer will also find works by artists from our neighbouring countries, such as Paul Fischer, Peder Severin Krøyer and Maria Wiik. There are two lively paintings by Danish artist Paul Fischer depicting his hometown Copenhagen - one of them also featuring an attractive portrait of the artist's wife Dagny in the foreground. On display is likewise a magical nocturne by Fischer's countryman P.S. Krøyer, with the moonlight softly glistening in Kattegat. Maria Wiik was also active in the late 1800s, and a true pioneer among female Finnish artists at that. She is here represented by the inviting painting On the Hill of the Windmill [På Kvarnbacken].
It is said of August Strindberg (1849-1912) that he oftentimes resorted to painting during times of personal turmoil and crisis; episodes when he found himself unable to write. The autumn of 1901 appears to have been an interesting exception to this pattern, where Strindberg both renewed his painting and worked on what came to be his most celebrated play: A Dream Play [Ett drömspel]. There is reason to believe that there occurred a kind of cross-pollination between his painting and writing at this time. For instance, there are clear parallels between the cave-like structure in Inferno and Fingal's cave in A Dream Play; as is there to the painting The Baby's First Cradle [Barnets första vagga] from 1901.
Inferno was especially dear to Strindberg and he kept it for longer than any other of his paintings. It has been interpreted as an expression of personal despair and an experience of life as a dark hole, where the hope of a brighter day only exsits in a world after this one. The first time the painting was publicly exhibited was in Stockholm in 1909, i.e. while the artist was still alive.
Today, Inferno is one of the artist's most exhibited and reproduced paintings, as well as one of the most written about ones. Inferno is without doubt a masterpiece of an international standing and has been exhibited globally, before now being presented at Åmells extensive Autumn Exhibition.