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Sigrid Sandström

Sigrid Sandström

The basics
Quick Facts
Countries Sweden
Gender female
Birth 1970 (Stockholm, Stockholm Municipality, Stockholm County, Sweden)
The details

Sigrid Sandström (born 1970) is a Swedish painter and printmaker and a professor of Fine Arts at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. Her work is characterized by graphic abstraction, an embrace of color and difference in scale, and an array of techniques used to apply paint and other materials to canvas, ranging from masking with tape, squeegee-ing and smearing, and collaging. She has also worked in film and video, most notably for her 2005 exhibition Her Black Flags at the Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, CA, and in sculpture and installation. Artforum critic Naomi Fry, reviewing a 2007 show at Edward Thorp Gallery, cited the artist's interest in landscape as subject and noted that Sandström "also grapples here with painting’s essential difficulty in the face of the sublime. As the works consistently teeter on the verge of abstraction, the interplay between a more traditional naturalism and geometric fragmentation provides a salient tension."

Early life and education

Sandström was born in Stockholm, Sweden. She earned a bachelor's degree in fine art from Academie Minerva in the Netherlands in 1997 and spent a year studying at The Cooper Union in New York City on an exchange program. In 2001, she graduated with a master's in fine art from the Yale School of Art. She attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine in 2000 (later returning as faculty in 2014) and the Core Residency Program at Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas.


Sandström's work has been shown at a number of museums internationally, including The Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Stockholm, Sweden; the Mills College Art Museum in Oakland, CA; and the Museum of Fine Arts, in Houston, TX. In 2006, she had a one-person exhibition at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, WA. She also has exhibited work with Inman Gallery in Houston, TX; Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles; Edward Thorp Gallery, New York; and Galleri Gunnar Olsson and Cecilia Hillström Gallery in Stockholm, Sweden.

She is co-editor, with Gavin Morrison, of Ignorance: Between Knowing and Not Knowing (Axl Books, 2015), an anthology which aims to differentiate ignorance from "not knowing" and to determine the philosophical role of ignorance in the development and reception of artworks. Along with artists Kristina Bength and Jan Rydén and curator Jonatan Habib Engqvist, she produced Studio Talks: Thinking Through Painting (Arvinius+Orfeus Publishing, 2014), a book documenting discussions and studio visits linking the practice of painting with the theoretical framework that undergirds it. She also published Grey Hope: The Persistence of Melancholy (Atopia Projects, 2006), which was awarded a grant from the Barbro Osher Foundation.

In an interview in 2015, Sandström said of her work, "I am after the simple sensation of retaining an awareness of the few elements that make up a painting: paint, canvas, stretcher bars, and yet those limited elements have the ability to communicate sensations of immediate presence that go beyond the obvious."

Recognition and awards

In 2008, Sandström was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant.

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