Laila Prytz 1907-1982

Laila Margareta Elisabet Prytz was born in Gällivare, northern Sweden on 6th June 1907. She was a Swedish painter.

Prytz travelled widely. By 1927 she had already visited Spain, France, Italy, Germany. Prytz returned to France in 1933 and studied under the French sculptor, painter and writer André Lhote (1885-1962) in Paris. Prytz also attended Otte Sköld's (Otte Skölds målarskola) Painting School in Stockholm.

It was during her time in Paris that Prytz met, and in 1932 married, the Swedish artist Wilhelm Wik (1897-1987). Together they travelled to Egypt, East Africa, India and Japan during the late 1930s.

Prytz's first solo exhibition was at Galleri Gummesons in Stockholm in 1945. Gummesons Gallery is one Scandinavia's foremost contemporary art galleries. Launched in 1912 by Carl Gummeson, a local book dealer, it quickly forged a reputation for supporting Modern Art. Prytz exhibited again at Gummesons in 1953.

The art critic M. Strömberg wrote in Stockholms Tidningen (Stockholm Newspaper) on 30th August 1953 that Prytz 'worships the clean surface and purity of colour - and simplifies reality ...with a decorative delight'.

Prytz's other solo exhibitions include Lorensbergs Konstsalong, Gothenburg (1947, 1954, 1958, 1964 and 1967); Konsthallen, Södertälje (1953, 1965); Galerie Saint-Germaine, Paris (1964); Galerie du Passeur, Paris (1965, 1969); Galleri Sture, Stockholm (1974); Helsingborg Art Gallery (1975); Gallery Heland, Stockholm (1977). Group exhibitions include Nationalmuseum, Stockholm (1927), the Autumn Salons at Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm; Sveagalleriet, with the Association Artistique Suédoise, Paris (1975 ), Musée Galliera, Paris; Musée d'Art Moderne, Paris and Galerie d'Art de l’Aérogare d'Orly, Chalet i Le Bourget, Paris. Prytz exhibited alongside her husband, Wilhelm Wik, in Jönköping (1955)

In 1969, the art critic Claude Bouyeure wrote that her works was 'An art halfway between cubism and geometric abstraction, a surrealism whose magic comes from true and free naivism'.

Examples of Prytz's public works can be seen at the Södertälje Hospital and the Musikaliska Akademien (Academy of Music) in Stockholm.

Examples of her work are held in the collections of the National Museum, Stockholm and the Musee de l'Opera, Institut Tessin (also known as the Centre Culturel Suédois), André Malraux collection and the Swedish Consulate in Paris

In 1937 Laila Prytz participated in a design competition organized by the Swedish Post Office. Her winning swan design was issued in May 1942 and was Sweden's longest issued (and once voted most beautiful) postage stamp.

Laila Prytz died in Stockholm on 19th March 1982, aged 74.