Friday, October 9, 2015

All roads lead to Hill End - meeting Mikael Kihlman

Dogs Blues 111 x 109cm, six plates 1994

Hill End delivers.....what's that mean you say?

Well often, more than often one can wake up and think it's a regular day and out of the blue you are presented with a beautiful gift of a very interesting person.

They just seem to pop up out of nowhere!

Often this person has come a long way, which is not hard to do seeing we are a bit isolated, but this very special encounter was from Sweden.

Swedish artist Mikael Kihlman came for morning tea, twice to our delight. Hill End artist Danelle Bergstrom met Mikael during her time as ‘artist-in-residence’ at Konstepidemin Gothenburg, between July 2011 and July 2012, when she travelled to Stockholm to meet with her good friend, Adam Rish, for the opening of his joint exhibition with another friend of Danelles, Australian artist, Garry Shead, at The Graphic House.

A friendship was born, a cross pollination of artistic ideas and we were fortunate enough that Mikael had come out for his exhibition at Gallery SPOT81 in Chippendale Sydney.

Spot81 is delighted to present Swedish painter, printmaker and sculptor, Mikael Kihman’s first solo exhibition in Australia.
From his catalogue:

Kihlman has exhibited widely throughout Sweden and internationally and is particularly renowned for his exquisite black and white prints in drypoint and mezzotint. He has received numerous international printmaking awards from countries including Canada, Poland, China, Romania, Serbia, Spain and Japan and was awarded the Karlskoga Nobel Art Ward in 2001, the Swedish Printmakers Association’s Eric Wessel-Fougstedts Scholarship in 2004, and together with cultural journalist Karl Haske, received an honorary scholarship from the Nils G Stenqvists Memorial Fund in 2009. In 2015 he received the title of Doctoris Honoris Causa at the Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design in Wroclaw, Poland.

Born in 1953 in Uppsala, Mikael Kihlman now lives and works in Stockholm. He is a member of the Swedish Printmkaers Association, Grafik (Gothenburg), Taidegraafikot, Finalnd and the Swedish Artist Union, KRO. Since 2002 Kihlman has been a board member of Grafikens Hus AB, Mariefred (International centre of Fine Art Printmaking) and since 2009 a board member (and Vice President from 2011) of Foreningen for Grafisk Konst, The Swedish Fine Art Print Society, National Museum, Stockholm.

Kihlman’s work is held in public collections including the British Museum, London; National Museum, Modern Museum, Malmo Art Museum, Norrkoping Art Museum, Boras Art Museum, Varmlands Museum Karlstad, the Swedish Art Council, as well as municipal and private collections throughout Sweden and International Biennale and Triennale collections.

My pictures are my way of trying to understand and orient myself in the world I live in. I am drawn to places with history and traces of human life, such as cities, villages and historical sites. The pictures are both a snapshot of the passing moment and a picture of an event stretched out in time. The key is the light that uncovers the darkness and gives a reflective and contemplative mode to the experience. The technique drypoint, an old copper graphical method suits the way I work very well and gives itself a patina and a feeling that adds a lot to the finished work. I'm basically a black and white graphic artist, one of many in a strong European tradition. That's my main reference point and a base for my work.

Mikael Kihlman, Stockholm 2015

The Graphic House (Grafikens Hus), situated in Mariefred, just outside of Stockholm, is a specialist exhibition centre and workshop and Mikael Kihlman, himself a renowned printmaker and sculptor, has been a member of the board since 2002. Mikael has previously visited and worked in Australia and has developed strong friendships and an affinity with the country and its people over the years.

So we had this great opportunity to meet him. (let me tell his very cool)

It was a gorgeous meshing of printing, playing biscuit tin guitars and just getting to know each other.

We're hooked, we want to go to Sweden now.

To see more of Mikael Kihlman exquisite printmaking check out his exhibition at SPOT81 last days to see it.

81 Abercrombie Street, Chippendale, NSW, 2008
T 61 2 9690 0655  E

Gallery Hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 11am to 5pm
Or go to his website

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