Jockum Nordström: Biography

Delicately and elegantly constructed, Swedish artist Jockum Nordström's collages, watercolors, graphite drawings, and architectural sculptures feel improvisational and spontaneous, yet rich in detail. His works on paper, in particular, read like storyboards, and he has often referred to them as "stills," where all the action takes place simultaneously within a frozen frame. His imaginative tableaux-like environments appear as fantastical settings populated with unique figures, animals, architecture, furniture, musical instruments, and other props, all varying in scale and composition. Demonstrating his innovative approach to illustration and his distinctive choice in subject matter, his works feature an assorted cast of characters, seemingly pulled from different eras, and frequently employ unusual horizontal or vertical formats that recall the sequential arrangement of comic books and filmstrips.

Nordström was born in 1963 in Stockholm, where he continues to live and work. In 2000, the artist joined David Zwirner, where he had his first United States solo show that same year, marking the first of five at the gallery in New York. In 2014-2015, For the insects and the hounds marked Nordström's first solo show at the gallery in London, showcasing new works on paper and sculptures. A solo presentation of the artist’s work, The Anchor Hits the Sand, was on view at the gallery’s London location in 2019.

The solo exhibition, Pour ne pas dormir, was on view at La Criée centre d'art contemporain, Rennes, France in 2021. In 2020, Skissernas Museum in Lund, Sweden presented the solo exhibition Without LanternIn 2018, solo exhibition of the artist’s work entitled Why is Everything a Rag was presented at the Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans. In 2013, the artist had a major European survey, All I Have Learned and Forgotten Again, which was on view at Lille Métropole, musée d'art moderne, d'art contemporain et d'art brut in Villeneuve d'Ascq, France, before it traveled to the Camden Arts Centre in London, making it the first solo exhibition of his work in the city. Other solo shows include those organized by the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris (2012); Swedish Institute, Paris (2011); Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin (2010); and Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2005).

Work by the artist is represented in museum collections that include Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio; Göteborgs Konstmuseum, Gothenburg, Sweden; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.), Ghent; Västerås Konstmuseum, Sweden; and the Weatherspoon Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

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