january 31, 2019 - Moderna Museet

CARL FREDRIK REUTERSWÄRD at Moderna Museet in Malmö



2.2 – 5.5 2019


The exhibition Alias: CFR presents two sides of the artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s multifaceted work: the comprehensive and elusive project Kilroy and a series of later monumental drawings from the late 1990s.

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd’s (1934–2016) career spanned almost seven decades, several pseudonyms, and most artistic techniques. The exhibition Alias: CFR focuses in part on Kilroy (1963–72), an intricate installation and group of objects, and in part on a series of expressive, monumental drawings the artist made after suffering a stroke in 1989 that forced him to switch from working with his right hand to his left.

Kilroy began in January 1963, when Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd published the following notice in the New York Herald Tribune: “CARL FREDRIK REUTERSWÄRD Closed for holidays 1963–1972.” He intended to use this vacation to create nine interrelated objects under the collective title of Kilroy. It is a poetic and simultaneously ambiguous and esoteric group of works, and the presentation of them at #modernamuseet #malmo features objects, as well as lasers and sketches related to the work.

Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd described the time after his stroke as in part a kind of liberation. He began drawing with his left hand, and the lines and subjects seem to suggest a searching both back and forward in time—to before and after the stroke. The monumental oil pastel drawings of the late 1990s feature scenes of, among others, mythological figures and acrobatic displays. They are mysterious and dreamlike, and although the expression here appear different from that of the earlier conceptual exercises, the two are also linked by the artist’s continual exploration of new styles and approaches.

Curator: Andreas Nilsson