The Boden School
6 june – 30 september 2018
The Boden School was the name given to the group of self taught artists who found each other through study circles and courses in Boden. They never wrote any art manifestos, but they inspired and supported each other, organized exhibitions and evolved together.
As a town, Boden is relatively young, with a history intimately associated with 20th century strategic defense. Military projects attracted people from all over Sweden, many of them with cultural interests. They soon formed an art guild, which, as early as the 1940s, was arranging exhibitions featuring some of the great names of the age – Sigrid Hjertén, Isaac Grünewald, and Ragnar Sandberg, to name just a few. The thirst for knowledge was incredible, so they organized courses in drawing, painting and art history over the years.
In this hotspot, the artists of the Boden School found each other. As a result, Boden developed an active art scene with many professional visual artists, and not surprisingly, it was here that Norrbotten’s first municipal art gallery opened.
More information can be found in the Folder (available only in Swedish).
About the artists
Bertil Linné (1913 – 2000) moved from Boden to Stockholm to study at, among other art schools, Konstfack (University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design). He also worked as an assistant to artist Einar Forseth for some years before he returned to Boden in 1940. The characteristic of his paintings was his strong coloristic sense and the various motifs found in his immediate surroundings. He executed several public artworks. The last one was the altar painting in the Sävast congregation’s Mariakyrkan. Linné kept painting to the very end, completing thousands of artworks in his lifetime.
June “Montana” Lorentz (1915 – 2007) was born in the USA. However, her parents were Swedish; when her father died, her mother returned to Sweden, and Lorentz grew up in Boden. At 18 she moved to Stockholm to study at various art schools. Lorentz also lived in Helsinki, Paris, and Norway before her return to Boden in 1945. Throughout her artistry, she varied her styles, techniques and motifs. She also taught art.
Stig Sandberg (1925 – 1961) studied for two years for Swedish artist Isaac Grünewald. Later, Helge Linden’s puristic, ill-detailed paintings in subdued colors influenced Sandberg’s paintings. Sandberg, in his turn, exerted an influence on a generation of young artists he taught in Boden. When still young, he was already an established artist, and in 1952 he had his largest solo exhibition in Boden. Sandberg also worked as a drawing instructor and went on study trips to France and Spain.
Ingvar Jigrud (1918 – 1994) came from Åsele in Västerbotten, where he was born, to Boden for his military service. He worked as a painter before he could support himself as an artist, and he also taught art for many years at Sunderby school. He sought a balance between color and form, and his paintings were cohesive with a firm but restrained feeling. Jigrud had several solo exhibitions in Sweden and created several public artworks.
Rune Waller (1924 – 2005) had his debut exhibition with Stig Winnerskog in 1959. He lived in Boden his entire life, and the puristic paintings of Stig Sandberg strongly influenced his art. Later on, he developed an increasingly expressionistic and coloristic painting. Contrary to the other artists of the Boden School, Waller often chose to paint human beings and human relations instead of natural sceneries.
John Thorgren (1918 – 2000) moved to Boden from Västerbotten for a military career. Then, in the 1950s, he could become a full time artist. For many years Thorgren lived in Stockholm, and his choice of motifs stemmed from four regions: the mountains in the north, Stockholm, Boden och Gotland. Thorgren was an artist who preferred to work on large scale and besides nature motifs he also made portraits.
Stig Winnerskog (1930 – 1994) got closer to professional life as an artist step by step; first, he worked at SJ (the Swedish Railway), then he was an art teacher, and eventually he could be a full time artist. Winnerskog was a poetic painter of landscapes, preferably the Norrbotten coast. In his later years, painting and interpreting what he called the inner picture became increasingly important.
Jean Carlbrandt (1924 – 2005) studied at Valand Art School in Gothenburg, before moving to Norrbotten in the 1940s . He was an artist who painted and drew but also executed several public artworks in many Swedish towns, from Gothenburg to Töre. Besides that, he worked with interior design, layout and illustration. In the 1960s he moved to the Sundsvall region.
Gösta Hedström (1919 – 2005) worked as a postmaster. He particularly liked pastels and often used the technique for his winter mountain motifs, a choice of a season that was a bit unusual in landscape painting. As a result his paintings had a delicate sense of nature’s colors and light. In cooperation with a local skilled weaving mill, he developed pictures of landscapes in a unique textile technique; many of these are public property.
Gösta Näsvall (1918 – 1989) originally came from Råneå, but settled in Boden. He worked as an engine driver his whole life and found his profession very suitable to combine with his great interest in art. He was a diligent participant in group exhibitions, among them the exhibition of Bodenskolan’s members in 1948. Later on he also had several solo exhibitions.
Sven Bohman (1919 – 2008) because of his father’s post at SJ (the Swedish Railway) his family moved around quite a bit during his early years before settling in Boden. As a teenager, Bohman was interested in drawing and painting and his oldest work is a portrait from 1934. He worked in a paint shop with a department for artist material, stimulating his interest in art. He was a selftaught artist who came to master oil, watercolour, gouache and pastels that he used to execute delicate natural sceneries.
As inheriting a homestead, Hjalmar Rönnbäck (1896 – 1984) had his career predetermined. He studied at an art school in Stockholm but had to wait till retirement before he could devote himself to his artistry full time. As a sculptor, he preferably worked in wood and iron, which he shaped into massive, living figures. He was also a painter who chose his motifs from the local district and the mountains.
On some occasions, Jan Olof Marner (1919 – 1989) described himself as a connoisseur of the art of living. He worked in public relations and stage design, parallel to his practice in painting, in which he used different techniques and materials. Marner did not strive for nor become part of the art establishment in Boden. He did not create any public artworks and is not part of any public collections. However, he was one of the founders of the Boden School group.
Bror “Brockas” Zackrisson (1907 – 1989) was born in Boden, and besides being an artist, he was also a skilled jazz musician. His painting was colorful and often slightly surrealistic. Zackrisson’s work is part of several municipalities’ and country council collections.