Axel Törneman: Bohemian-life and modernity 6 February 2021 - 6 June 2021

Axel Törneman’s (1880-1925) art is characterized by dramatic compositions and motifs in vibrant colours. The paintings depict the spirit of the turn of the century. Even though Törneman took up the role as a pioneer for modern art in Sweden, he remained a misunderstood bohemian who often went his own way.

Törneman’s artistic breakthrough began in Paris, where he was drawn into the bohemian life. In 1907, his colourful painting The Night Café caused sensation in Sweden, where the electric light and the absinthe veiled atmosphere was associated with both modernity and decadence. Törneman received his first recognition when Ernest Thiel bought The Night Café and today Thielska Galleriet is in possession of the largest Törneman collection.

The exhibition provides a broad presentation of an intriguing artist. From the early paintings in France, through the extensive production for book illustrations and caricatures, to the large paintings with motifs that portrays social life and mythology. With its 78 Art works, this is the most comprehensive exhibition of Törneman that has taken place since almost 50 years.

Curated by Adam Korpskog, Master´s degree in Art history.

Axel Törneman, Night Café, 1906, Thielska Galleriet.

Axel Törneman with his wife, the singer Gudrun Törneman (f. Høyer-Ellefsen) and their son Algot, c. 1913. From Signe and Yngves family album, photo: Magnus Karlsson.

Axel Törneman, Portrait of the Artist's Wife, 1908, Thielska Galleriet.

Axel Törneman, Gudrun, 1904, private collection. Bokförlaget Stolpe/Photo Bengt Wanselius.

Axel Törneman, Fågel blå, 1916, private collection. Photo: Patric Evinger/Åmells konsthandel.

Axel and Gudrun Törneman, their son Axel and Axel's sister in a hat in the family estate in Persberg, Värmland. The walls are covered with two of Axel Törneman's paintings that are on display in the exhibition. From Signe and Yngve Törneman's family album, photo: Magnus Karlsson.

Axel Törneman, Porträtt av fru Carin Östberg, 1916, Thielska Galleriet.

Axel Törneman, Variété, undated, Thielska Galleriet.

Axel Törneman, Self portrait, 1904, Thielska Galleriet.