Jürgen von Konow 1915-1959

Jürgen von Konow was born in Östersund, Sweden in 1915.

Von Konow was a painter and printmaker. From a very early age he studied at the Högre Konstindustriella Skolan in Stockholm (between 1930 and 1934). On the advice of his tutors he moved to Paris in 1935 and studied art at the Académie Scandinave. The Académie Scandinave was established in 1926 by Lena Börjeson as part of her Maison Watteau artists' community (that she had established in 1918) to encourage students from Scandinavia to learn under the tutelage of French teachers and to expose Scandinavian artists to a larger European audience. Kees Van Dongen, Jules Pascin and Per & Lucy Krohg were a few significant patrons of Maison Watteau.

Konow remained in Paris after the Maison Watteau closed and continued his studies at the studio of the renowned French painter of Social Realism, Marcel Gromaire (1892-1971), before attending Stanley William Hayter's first printmaking studio, Atelier Dix-Sept at 17 Rue Campagne-Première in Paris.

Hayter founded Atelier Dix-Sept, in the late 1920's in Paris; a printmaking studio that was also home to such significant artists as Miro, Pollack, and Calder. Hayter associated closely with the Surrealists and Surrealism during the 1930's. During the war, Hayter moved (the re-named) Atelier 17 to New York (in 1940), where it became an important meeting place for both European and American artists. It was in the United States that Hayter was first exposed to Abstract Expressionism. Hayter is regarded as one of the most influential printmakers of the 20th Century. Atelier 17 was re-established again back in Paris in 1950. Upon it's return, Von Konow retained an association with the studio until 1957.

Von Konow returned to Sweden in 1937 and married Anna-Lisa Enbark in 1941. In 1946 he studied graphic arts at the Konsthögskolan in Stockholm and in 1953 became Harald Arthur Sallberg's (1895-1963) teaching assistant at the Konstakademien (Royal Academy of Fine Arts) in Stockholm

Having been heavily influenced by Hayter and his printing techniques (and the publication of Hayter's 'A New Way of Gravure' in 1949), Von Konow published his own handbook on printmaking techniques in Sweden 'Om grafik: Historia och Teknik' (About graphics: History and Technique) in 1958. His book made a important contribution to the teachings of graphic design and printmaking in Sweden.

Von Konow exhibited extensively. He first exhibited at Sweden's Public Art Association exhibition in 1934. His first solo exhibition was at Galleri Gummesons in Stockholm in 1938 (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).

Other selected exhibitions include De Ungas Salong (the Youth Salon) in Stockholm in 1942, at the Lorensberg Konstsalong (Lorensberg art salon) in Gothenburg with Eric Alsmark (1911-1950) in 1944 and then again in 1949 and 1955. At the Västerås Konstgalleri (in 1947 and 1949) at the Nordiska Grafikunionen (Nordic Graphics Union) in Helsinki (1951), Svensk Grafik (Swedish Graphics) at the National Museum in Stockholm (1951 and 1953), at Galleri Gummesons again in 1952 and the Nordiska Konstförbundet (Nordic Art Association) exhibitions in Oslo and Bergen (1953) and Rome (1955). Von Konow also took part in an exhibition of International Colour Graphics held in Ohio, USA (in 1954), at Lilla Gallerie (Little Gallery) in Umea, Sweden (1955), 'Ung Grafik' in Lund (1955). Von Konow was part of 'Ung svensk grafik' (Young Swedish Graphics) which exhibited in London and Paris (in 1956) and between 1954 and 1957, he exhibited with Atelier 17 throughout Europe and the United States. In 1958 he received international recognition when he won one of the grand prizes at the graphic exhibition in Ljubljana.

Examples of Konow’s work are held in the collections of the Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art), National Museum and Waldemarsudde in Stockholm; Gothenburg and Norrköping Art Museums, Oslo National Gallery; KODE: Bergen Art Museum; Ateneumin, Helsinki; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and British Museum, London.

Jürgen von Konow was killed in a car accident in Sweden in 1959. He was 44 years old.

Jürgen von Konow