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Studio Visit: Jan Håfström – The Making of a Prophet

Past exhibition February 22 – March 18, 2018

Jan Håfström (b. 1937), one of Sweden’s most respected artists, was the first to participate in Artipelag’s exhibition series Studio Visits. Studio Visits is a project that will present new artworks by contemporary artists. Håfström participated with the new suite The Making of a Prophet, a serie inspired by his childhood in Sunday school with focus on the story of Jesus’ life. 

Jan Håfström - Ateljébesök
Jan Håfström - Ateljébesök.

One of Håfström’s first meetings with art was in Sunday school when his teacher tried to illustrate the biblical histories through cut-outs of the characters. Håfström’s serie illustrates eleven histories from Jesus’ life, including The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem and Jesus and the Woman Taken in Adultery. The image sequences can be seen as a kind of morality or sedictory stories. The artworks are made out of cut-outs of the characters placed on a square patterned paper which is covered with armored glass. Some of the figures in the pictures are partially hidden, coffee stains blur the motive and gives the picture a kind of patina and a mysterious appearance.

The motives that Håfström used in The Making of a Prophet can be found in drawings from his childhood. Håfström describes the appearance of the suite as a result of an archaeological excavation of himself, where unexpected things from the subconscious show up. The story of Jesus’ life became some kind of narrative that underlies Håfström’s later work.

The exhibition took place in Artipelag’s entrance hall.

The Making of a Prophet

Jan Håfström – The making of a prophet
Jan Håfström – The making of a prophet.
Jan Håfström – The making of a prophet
Jan Håfström – The making of a prophet.

The images of the artworks are cropped.