KG Nilson

KG Nilson, "Angrepp på en borg". Olja på duk, 2014

KG Nilson, "Angrepp från två håll". Olja på duk, 2014.


KG (Karl Gustaf) Nilson was born in Falun on 23 January, 1942. He was influenced early in his career by a group of graphic artists in Falun. After graduating from school in 1961, he attended the Valand Academy in Gothenburg, at Atelier 17 in Paris in 1962, and at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm in 1963-68, studying aesthetics and history of art and literature at the same time and taking his degree in 1966.

KG Nilsson’s first exhibition was at Galerie Aronowitsch in 1967; since then, he has exhibited profusely in Stockholm (including Thielska Galleriet in 1990, Liljevalchs Konsthall in 1999 and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 2005), and has also had retrospectives at Dalarnas Museum in Falun in 1990 and 2012.

His growing fascination for colour resulted in a colour exhibition for the Riksutställningar – Swedish Exhibition Agency and a colour theory that has also been published as a book. In 1972-83, he taught colour theory at the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design – Konstfack, and in 1983-93 he was professor of graphic art at the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. He was chairman of the Swedish Printmakers’ Association and editor of the Association’s anniversary publication in 2010.

KG Nilson has carried out many public commissions and is perhaps best known for his ballot urn with a stylised map of Sweden’s counties, and a ballot box for the Swedish parliament in 1998. His exhibition activities have been prolific both in Sweden and internationally, with solo shows in Finland, Denmark, Germany, France, the UK, the USA and Poland; he is also represented in numerous museum collections.  His geometrically-composed works are sometimes described as concretist, but his oeuvre also references the contemporary world, maps, cities and battles.