The Halmstad Group of surrealists

The Halmstad Group were pioneers in Swedish art history. You can experience their work in exhibitions at Mjellby Art Museum, which has a permanent and comprehensive collection of the group’s pieces. NOTE The museum is closed for renovation and plans to reopen in the autumn of 2023.

In 1929, the Halmstad Group was formed by six young Halmstad artists: Sven Jonson, Waldemar Lorentzon, Stellan Mörner, Axel Olson, Erik Olson and Esaias Thorén. They studied modern painting in Berlin and Paris and were amongst the first Swedes who, like Picasso and Léger, experimented with breaking up pictures into cubist compositions. In the 1920s, the group also experimented with concretism, an abstract art form that was revolutionary at that time.

The Halmstad Group painted by group member Stellan Mörner

The Halmstad Group painted by group member Stellan Mörner

At the start of the 1930s, the Halmstad Group entered a new phase, surrealism. The group’s members came across this movement in Paris when Europe was in a deep political and economic crisis. At this time, they participated in several, international, surrealist exhibitions along with artists such as Salvador Dali, Max Ernst and Wilhelm Freddie. The group then introduced surrealism to Sweden, but with their own particular slant in which Scandinavia’s light and the Halland coast are often present.

After 50 years together, the Halmstad Group broke up in 1979 on the death of Stellan Mörner. Today, it is regarded as one of the world’s longest running groups of artists.

Works by the Halmstad Group are dotted all around Halmstad. In addition to the collection at Mjellby Art Museum, you can see their pieces at, for example, Halmstad Castle, Halmstads Teater, Nolltrefem, St. Nikolai Church, Halmstad City Hall, Halland Art Museum and Halmstad Arena.

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Gems!

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