Good new week to you all!
During my stay in Stockholm I stayed at my former boyfriend’s (Mr. E) apartment on Sodermalm in Stockholm. Although we went separate ways many years ago he is still one of my closest friends and also a good friend of my husband.
I met Mr. E (he is anything but formal (!) — but pretty private so I am going to keep it that way) when I was fairly young and there is no doubt in my mind that my design style — that is truly me — formed during our long relationship. Mr. E loves art and has a most exqusite collection. When we met, his style at home was all contemporary with nothing old in sight.
I wanted more warmth and “personality” in his/our home, and perhaps a little of what I was used to from my home, so I made him purchase (poor man!) his first real antique — this beautiful Swedish 18th century console table, as a contrast to Olle Baertling’s oil painting from 1960. This was exactly 20 years ago, folks. He thought I was crazy at first but he went along for the ride. The vignette is still in his home and is, in my opinion, as beautiful and current as only great classic pieces can be.
(I am sorry for the horrible image.Yikes! But I am still going to show it because it is key for those of you who might be interested in understanding my style).
Olle Baertling (1911 – 1981) was one of the Nordic countries’ leading and most internationally oriented artists of the postwar era. His paintings have become modernist icons.
(Olle Baertling via internationally recognized Swedish art gallery Nordenhake).
Yes, of course I follow trends but the core of my personal style, the mix of old and new, I will always remain faithful to. And the starker the contrasts the better. I am not saying that my style is good or right (if there even is such a thing). But it feels good in my heart. At the time I did not see this elsewhere, I did not copy somebody else, it just came naturally a long time ago. And it still feels right to me. Having said that, I have tons of respect for other styles and appreciate and like many, many other ways of decorating. There are so many things out there that I love!
The TV area consist of Swedish sofas and classic Bruno Mattson chairs and table. And everywhere you look — lovely art.
I can spend all day sharing Mr. E’s art collection, today I am just showing a few of the pieces that I find very special. He loves sculptures and this bronze torso by Swedish sculptir Claes Hake is a a favorite of his. The art work on the wall is by famous American artist Quitman.
This art piece is an absolute favorite of mine. It is called the “cross” and is by Curt Asker. It is made of metal and forms the best shadows on the wall. I think it is absolutely stunning and wish I could afford one myself! (Mr. E once gave me a small wall art piece by Asker that I treasure so).
A corner view of the office. The bronze statue (3 ladies) in the back is by the well established French artist Louis Canes. I had the opportunity to meet him several times in Paris together with Mr. E. He is just the nicest man. He is very tall, I can report, and quite funny! On the wall is an installation by American artist Kohlner.
Can’t remember the artist behind the black and white artwork. But I like it!
Pablo Picasso — 1881-1973 (etching).
A hanging sculpture by Swedish artist Lars Englund, one of the best known Swedish contemporary artists.
An oil painting by legendary cuban artist Wilfredo Lam (1902-1982).
Lucio Fontana’ s (1889-1968) signature slashed papers. (Bad image again, sorry).
An oil painting by American artist Jonathan Lasker (widely regarded as one of the most influential abstract painters in the United States). He came to Mr. E’s summer home a couple of times. He thought that our midsummer rituals (think lots of schnaps and marinated herring!) were the most exotic things. It was crazy fun to see this creative New Yorker sitting in the blooming back yard equipped with black sunglasses and a small black hat (think the Blues Brothers!) and take in the Swedish summer! He is a hoot!
I absolutely love this bronze horse head by Henrik Allert, one of the most outstanding ceramic sculptors in Sweden today. It is stunning, paired with the soft yellow painting by an American artist (unknown).
I can go on and on about Mr. E’s art collection and his exellent feel for good art. I feel so blessed to call him a very close friend and I have learned so much from him over the years including all the time we spent time running in and out of art galleries and museums and all the homes we renovated and decorated. He has been and will always be my no. 1 art guide.
When I write this I wonder if my style would have been different had we never met.
On Wednesday I am taking another week off — but this time with family. And that will be the last trip this summer. We are heading to Oregon coast (Bandon) to enjoy some quality time with family.
While I am diving in sand dunes, you will hear from a few more wonderful blog friends who will share their Summer Postcards with us. Please, check in and see what they have to share! (I know I will be checking in for new books to read!).
Hugs to you all! I am back mid next week with more reporting from my trip to Stockholm.