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The Gothenburg Art Museum Opens Jan Loof Exhibition

The Gothenburg Art Museum presents an exhibition of work by Jan Loof on view 17 September – 22 January 2012.

Jan Lööf is one of Sweden’s most prominent drawers and illustrators, whose classic comics Felix (1967-1973) and Ville (1975-1976) have inspired a generation of comic creators. But it is perhaps his children’s books that have made him a household name. His 1966 double debut with En trollkarl i Stockholm and Morfar är sjörövare was followed by a number of celebrated and award-winning children’s books. Jan Lööf has also contributed to the wealth of Swedish children’s programmes as an actor in the cult television series Tårtan (1972) and with his puppet film Skrotnisse och hans vänner, which he created in collaboration with Lars-Åke Kylén in 1978-1985.

Lööf’s imagery offers an outstanding richness of detail in which fantasy and realism literally go hand in hand. His distinctive settings are often full of the technical marvels of childhood and populated by characters endowed with a liberating fecundity of imagination. As a viewer one is easily drawn into his universe in which parallel chains of events and references to literature, film and art are layered in multiple dimensions.

Jan Lööf’s career is both diversified and consistent; it meanders its way forward, always incorporating his various experiences into the next stage of his image-making. His artistic production spans several decades and has been embraced by generations of children as well as adults. Graphite and watercolour, the distinct line and the transparent and saturated colours have always been characteristic of his images, even in his later production where the computer is his main working tool.

This autumn’s exhibition at the Gothenburg Museum of Art is the first comprehensive presentation of Jan Lööf’s work. The exhibition comprises original illustrations for several of Lööf’s children’s books and television series, as well as new works and installations from his recent production. And for the first time, the puppets created for the television series Skrotnisse och hans vänner will be publicly displayed. The exhibition, and the newly produced catalogue, will provide an insight into a body of work full of vitality, curiosity and wittiness.

Image: The Gothenburg Art Museum

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