måndag 31 december 2018

söndag 23 december 2018

Gustaf's Night Before Christmas

Today I would like to send the best greetings to all Tenggren fans with a couple of stunning spreads. The Night Before Christmas by C. Clement Moore was published in 1951 by Simon & Schuster as a Big Golden Book. 

Gustaf Tenggren illustrated this classic in his typical 1950s style, using decorative, stylized planes of bright colors in a syncopated jazzy rhythm. A clear inspiration from his former Disney colleague Mary Blair can be recognized.  

In this spread, with Santa delivering toys, Gustaf has included three of the characters he invented for Little Golden Books. The Poky Little Puppy, The Lively Little Rabbit and The Tawny Scrawny Lion are all featured in the image, although the lion was not introduced until the year after, in 1952. I think this somewhat forgotten Tenggren book is one of his brightest and merriest. With that, i wish all A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

lördag 14 juli 2018

Gustaf Tenggren visits Millesgården

The year 2020 will be a special year for admirers of Gustaf Tenggren and his art. Apart from being a numerically and visually interesting set of numbers, it marks a couple of anniversaries connected to Gustaf Tenggren's life. In 1920, Gustaf Tenggren arrived in USA from Sweden. In 1970 he died in Maine after a long career. That means that the year 2020 not only marks the centennial anniversary of his arrival in USA but also the 50-year commemoration of his passing.
Carl Milles, 1875 – 1955 and Gustaf Tenggren, 1896 – 1970
So what can be more appropriate than to throw a comprehensive exhibition of his work? As it happens, the museum of Swedish sculptor Carl Milles, Millesgården, has decided to do just that. In spring of 2020, a Gustaf Tenggren exhibition will be held at Millesgårdens Konsthall. The scope is to display a total overview of Tenggren's production and I have been asked to curate the show, the task of which I have most gratefully, although in utter humbleness, accepted.

The venue of Millesgården seems quite logical – the similarities of the two artists are many. Carl Milles was born in Sweden and had built a career in Sweden as a prominent sculptor with several commissions before he visited USA in the beginning of the 1930ies. In 1931 he was hired as a professor in sculpture by the Cranbrook Academy. He stayed and worked in USA for 20 years, before he returned to his home at Lidingö, the current premises of Millesgården Museum. 

Gustaf Tenggren had also started his career as an illustrator of magazines and fairy tale books when he left Sweden for USA. Just as his fellow countryman he built a solid reputation as an artist and illustrator on American turf, but unlike Milles, he never returned to his paternal homeland. 
The homecoming of Tenggren's art to the country where he was forgotten for a vast period will mean a great opportunity to get acquainted to Gustaf Tenggren's art as a whole. The venue for this event could not be better; Milles and Tenggren is a combo hard to beat.